Memorial Pool Membership Held Steady, Non-Resident Use Spiked in 2012
Despite a slight increase in pool membership over last year, revenues dipped a bit this summer.
Concerns about the negative environmental impact of Hurricane Irene and the ensuing flooding of Memorial Pool on the bathing beach's sand seem to have had no discernible impact on pool membership this summer -- particularly for out of town residents.
Membership rates, which have hardly fluctuated in the last decade, held steady in 2012. This summer, 4,673 individuals joined the pool -- the third highest amount since 2004 and up slightly from last year.
Since 2004, some 4,500 people — or about 14 percent of the borough's population — join the pool on average each year.
While total membership numbers were in line with years past, a breakdown of membership types reveals a number of extremes in this year's pool-going crop.
Of the seven different membership types the borough categorizes, five experienced decade highs or decade lows in 2012.
There were more children on family memberships ("family juniors"), seniors and non-residents who joined the pool this summer than any time in the past decade.
On the other hand, there were fewer children who joined as individuals ("juniors") and non-swimming members at the pool this summer than any time in recent history -- both dropped more than 15 percent from last year.
The number of non-residents who joined the pool this year — either through shared service agreements with nearby towns or resident sponsorships — were up 35 percent in 2012. More than half of the pool's non-resident members came from Elmwood Park and about one quarter from Saddle Brook.
Twenty-three sponsored memberships were purchased this pool season, the first in which Fair Lawn residents were able to sponsor non-residents from any town for pool membership.
Despite the slight increase in total pool membership and the growth in non-resident members who pay a higher fee, pool revenues dipped slightly in 2012.
After generating just under $280,000 in 2010 and 2011, the pool brought in $266,170 this year.
While the borough doesn't break out the actual costs to operate the pool from the entire recreation department spend, operating the pool costs significantly more than it brings in through membership fees.
In March, Deputy Mayor Ed Trawinski said he thought it cost the borough between $600,000 and $750,000 annually to run the pool.
Memorial Pool Membership Breakdown (2004-2012):
*The borough began accepting non-resident memberships in 2010
Pool Revenues (2002-2012):
Non-resident members by town:
- Elmwood Park (interlocal agreement): 60
- Saddle Brook (interlocal agreement): 28
- Prospect Park (interlocal agreement): 5
- Haledon (interlocal agreement): 0
- Woodland Park (sponsorship): 5
- Washington Township (sponsorship): 4
- Lodi (sponsorship): 4
- New Milford (sponsorship): 4
- Teaneck (sponsorship): 2
- Paramus (sponsorship): 2
- Oakland (sponsorship): 1
- Wayne (sponsorship): 1