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Changes to Northland Pool Discussed at Town Council Conference

Aaron Snyder

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 • 11:11pm

LIVINGSTON, NJ – The latest Livingston Town Council conference meeting mostly revolved around the discussion of future changes to the Northland Pool and Recreation Center. The council also heard the final report of the Bicentennial Committee.

A pool study has been going on to decrease the drop in membership at the Northland Pool. The study was presented by Alan Karpas and Director of Senior, Youth and Leisure Services Jennifer Hessberger.

According to the study, membership has been on the decrease for several decades. There was much discussion as to how to amend this situation. Many options were taken into account to make membership more appealing including an optional weekday or weekend membership, monthly or half-season passes, day passes (which could cost non-residents upwards of 20$) and other options.

Hessberger said she is planning on implementing some membership changes, but however is hesitant about changing everything all at once. “My fear is that we may lose more current members than gain [potential] members … my thought was to take this change slowly.”

It remains undecided whether or not membership options will change or more will be offered, however some new options may be offered this summer to see how said changes will effect membership.

More long range plans were discussed as well, such as redoing the grounds, bathrooms, and other structures. In addition, Senior, Youth, and Leisure Services is looking into the costs of heating the pool.

Councilman Al Anthony said he thought that this would definitely increase membership, stating that the pool was “too cold” for his family to enjoy, resulting in the loss of his membership.

The most prevalent complaint made by residents at the conference meeting had to do with the lack of chairs at the Northland Pool. Hessberger stated that this year, she would prefer to “add more amenities,” which would include more seating. “I would rather give more to current members so that they are getting more for their membership … so we don’t decrease the memberships we have.”

In addition, the Bicentennial Committee made a final presentation for the town council. Congratulations were given to the committee for putting together so many activities. The Committee expressed its own gratitude toward the council, commenting on the openness and availability of all the members during the events.

Some numbers about the funding of the bicentennial celebrations were given as well. According to the committee’s report: $25,000 was contributed by the town, and  public donations amounted to $180,780.86. ‘Cash distributions,’ or expenditures, totaled $189,559, of which some outstanding bills have not yet been added into the final costs, leaving a surplus of $16,221. The report also anticipates more money coming in from the selling of books, flags and banners.

“We had a great group of volunteers, a lot of [hard work] was done behind the scenes,” Councilman Rudy Fernandez said, thanking those involved.

Videos made from compilations of the events will eventually be made available at the library.

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