The Township plans to keep Maplewood Pool rates the same as last year, but create a new weekend-only option that would give a discount to those who visit only on Saturday and Sunday.
The Township Committee on Tuesday night approved an initial plan to keep the rates at the 2016 levels, but eliminate the college student rate that was put in place last year.
See those rates HERE.
The TC also approved plans to institute a 20% discount for members who would only have access on Saturday and Sunday, voting 4-1 to direct that legislation be brought forth in April for that change. Mayor Vic Deluca cast the lone opposing vote.
For a family of three-to-seven members, who currently pay $445 per season, the discount would reduce that to $356.
"I'm concerned about losing the dollars when we have an historic pattern of not making our budget already," the mayor said.
But the majority of members agreed to try it for one year.
"We would like to get more members to the pool," said TC Member Greg Lembrich, who is the TC liaison to the Pool Advisory Committee, which recommended the idea. "My personal view is I would be willing to try it for a year."
The pool has seen a membership drop in recent years, going from 8,681 in 2010 to 7,101 in 2015. There was a slight increase in 2016 with 7,250 members.
"It is astounding, though understandable, that we are looking for members," TC Member India Larrier said. "I like the idea of doing something with the pool to make it more open."
Nancy Adams also had concerns about overcrowding and complications from the different memberships: "I worry about the extra complication of people coming in an differentiating between a weekend membership and a regular pool badge, and the amount of overcrowding there could be on weekends."
But, added Lembrich, "If we don't try it we'll never know."
Lembrich said the pool committee also has discussed providing members with a number of free guest passes each year.
The new membership changes will be voted on formally next month.