Memorial Park Pool Ends Successful Season: Membership Up; Turning a Profit
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 • 6:54am
CHATHAM BOROUGH, NJ - Memorial Park Pool in Chatham Borough ended a successful season with increased membership, not running at a deficit and netting a profit.
Jim LeMon from the Memorial Park Pool committee presented a recap of the season, noting that the committee achieved its goal of reducing the tax payer subsidy and increasing membership. Le Mon explained the problems that the borough had to face going into 2011. The pool needed major capital improvements, it was running at a $25,000-30,000 deficit and it was losing members, he said.
After undergoing an eight month renovation starting in the fall of 2011 through April 2012, the pool turned a profit for the first time in several years. The pool netted $23,000, according to Council President James Lonergan.
This summer, the pool had 614 members, up from 237 members in 2011 and 217 in 2010. About 125 people came to the pool each day.
In a survey completed by members, LeMon said that 80 percent of respondents were highly satisfied with the pool and that 94 percent planned to continue their membership in 2013. He noted that 69 percent said that adequate parking was available.
Thirty-seven percent of members were not happy with the hours the pool was open, specifically when it closed at 5:30 on Saturdays and Sundays. For the 2013 season, the pool will be open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sundays. The staffing budget would increase by $4,200 to accommodate the additional staff hours.
Next year’s plans include forming a swim team, expanding the swim lesson offerings to include more time slots other than the morning, making the life guard/staff booth larger to sustain a computer, freshening up the locker rooms and putting an awning over the picnic area to provide shade.
In 2014, the committee plans to focus on the10 to 16-year-old age group by exploring the possibility of making the pool deeper, adding more water sprays and a low-profile slide.
Noting that the pool was not costing taxpayers anything anymore, Lonergan said, “And we turned it around in just one year.”