Makeover Planned for Community Center Arcade
The manager's budget calls for $10,000 in capital improvements to the community center arcade.
The Fair Lawn Community Center's stable of antiquated and oft out-of-service arcade games is in for a reset.
The manager's budget, presented Tuesday, lays out $10,000 in capital funding to phase out the aging consoles and replace them with more modern games.
“If you recall, when the Community Center was built the pinball games and all those types of things were provided by the 501(c) 3," manager Tom Metzler said Tuesday. "Well, they’re aging, and we’re budgeting to put a plan in place to start replacing some of this equipment.”
Even as residents have complained about the frequently broken games that bedeck the center's second floor youth center, fixes haven't been particularly forthcoming in recent years due to budget constraints.
In the past, when a single unit broke down the recreation supervisor would call for a repair. Now, the department waits until multiple pieces of equipment are broken before making a service call.
"We pay a service fee for them to come in," Metzler explained, "so to have them come in six separate times, the cost of maintaining these things would be astronomical.”
Going forward, the borough plans to lease new game consoles rather than buy them.
"The benefit to that is, we can change the machines from time to time with what the kids are really playing," Metzler said. "And we wouldn’t have the maintenance cost because as part of the lease they would take care of them."
Mayor John Cosgrove, the former chairman of the Community Center 501(c)3 Committee, said in addition to leasing new arcade-style units, there had also been discussions to buy smaller, more modern home video game consoles.
"While all these types of games are great, we also know that the kids have transitioned more to like Wii and these types of things," Metzler elaborated. "So the thought is to purchase a couple of those and put them into screens so the kids could interact with the Wii program, which is obviously less costly and would still provide a service to the youth of the borough."
Assuming the budget is approved in a timely fashion, Metzler said residents should begin to see some new games in the arcade by mid-summer.