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 .


Memorial Pool Membership Breakdown (2004-2012):

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012  2004-2012 Average Adult 703 802 858 807 825 706 854 808 799 795.78
Junior 117 133 137 130 121 100 109 104 88 115.44
Family 806 845 903 852 861 796 876 825 821 842.78
Family Junior 1588 1678 1806 1747 1738 1625 1800 1740 1851 1730.33
Senior 539 599 564 504 516 484 547 595 620 552
Non-Swimmer 447 443 475 454 463 438 420 474 378 443.56
Non-Resident N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 91 86 116 97.67
Total 4200 4500 4743 4494 4524 4149 4697 4632 4673 4512.44

*The borough began accepting non-resident memberships in 2010

Pool Revenues (2002-2012):

2002 $201,742 2003 $189,982 2004 $175,951 2005 $204,617 2006 $227,025.50 2007 $249,000 2008 $259,047.50 2009 $232,287.50 2010 $279,585,.02 2011 $279,977.50 2012 $266,170

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


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Tommy P September 25, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Half a million dollars stolen under threat of force from the good taxpayers of Fair Lawn to subsidize a minority's entertainment. I can't wait for the day that the rest of the voters realize the politicos are bribing us with our own money.
LENNY September 25, 2012 at 05:04 PM
cut to the chase the bottom line what was the total income as to the total cost to run this pool this year.
Tommy P's boyfriend September 25, 2012 at 05:23 PM
my names trent and i am tommy's significant other. we refused to pay our taxes since they were going towards entertainment last year. Eventhough we live in radburn and force other residents to pay dues for our two pools even if they may not use them (i know its hypocritical but hey atleast we get 2 nice pools to enjoy :) so a couple months ago while we were enjoying an episode of ellen 10 men in swat gear crashed through our window and held myself and tommy at gun point until we paid our taxes. i know some of you think my sweethearts tea party comments sound a little crazy but he is right! they force this pool on us through force and violence. my tommy hasnt been the same since, he has nightmares and has wet the bed 10 times since the incident. YOU PEOPLE BETTER START LISTENING TO MY LOVE MUFFIN BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. he is a true american patriot (and apparently a D1 scholarship athlete haha) fair lawn's motto: MEMORIAL POOL OR DIE
TooLate September 25, 2012 at 10:07 PM
14 percent of the borough's population allegedly use the pool, I don't believe this is true, not on a daily basis. 97 people outside town use the pool, again, not everyday, at an average loss to residents of cost to the borough between $600,000 and $750,000 annually to run the pool! Doesn't anyone realize this is ridiculous with 35,000 residents! Close the pool!
FLemp September 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM
What the article doesn't tell about is the 500-600 kids that are there on a daily basis for 6-8 weeks of the season. Not to mention the Fair Lawn swim team that practices every morning, and has swim meets at the pool. The Fair Lawn Opportunity center which goes there on e or twice a week. If they close Memorial, what will happen then?
FLemp September 26, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Sorry, ment to point out that the 500-600 kids are Camps from Board of Ed & Rec Dept.
Tommy P September 26, 2012 at 01:18 AM
My significant other died on 9/11 in a terrorist attack. We never had the opportunity to get married because of our sexual orientation. I also saw first hand how racists treated my half sister and the rest of us by proxy because she was mixed race. We have come a long way with racial issues since I was boy and we are making progress on sexual orientation now too. "Trent" your statements are vile. I understand my pointing out that taxes are collected under threat of force bothers you. It's logically sound and likely makes the rest of view of government inconsistent. You need to accept that supporting the pool starts with involuntary payments by those who pay property taxes directly or indirectly (via rent or patronizing local businesses). When the mafia does that, it's a crime. The color of law doesn't change that. Theft is theft, even if the majority votes for it. This country ended slavery, racial discrimination, sexual discrimination. I have hope that we will fix this injustice too. The Radburn Association is a private organization, I agreed to join. We have a means of dissolving it, can't say that about Fair Lawn.
Tommy P September 26, 2012 at 01:22 AM
The world would simply end. No one would know how to swim and we would all die the next time in rains. What a silly question. Memorial pool is not the only public pool in town. We have multiple council people who work for companies in the area that provide the same services, year round. If the pool was so valuable, why don't 85%+ join? Why not make the members pay for their own entertainment. It maybe difficult to help you understand that since your paycheck is dependent on not understanding it.
Skeptic September 26, 2012 at 01:59 AM
That number is way off. It's much lower.
FLemp September 26, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Ok Tom, I've said before and I'll say it again: I am not a borough employee, I use that name out of respect for the hard working borough employees. If these council people work for these companies, why did they send their kids to the Rec camps? And go to the pool several times a week? What other public pools are there? Don't even say Radburn, can any Fair Lawn resident walk into the Radburn pools? No they can't, so it's a private pool. And before you call me a "Radburn basher" I live in Radburn. I'll give you one thing, I'm all for people paying for their own entertainment, lets charge $100 per year for the Rec center membership.
Tommy P September 26, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Considering how many employees we have, including the many who live here too, they don't need you to imply your one of them. I'm not going to blame the people who take advantage of wasteful government spending. They took advantage of a subsidized service. There are several "Y"s in the area, hotels, etc. take a look at google earth, there are pools in many backyards. Why should Radburn residents and those who have their own pay for others to have access to a pool? Why should the vast majority pick up the tab for a few that use the pool? The entire rec dept should be privatized, those who use the service should pay for it. Watch how fast $100k salaries get adjusted, think a "typist" would be employed much longer? Where you think that money comes from?
the Y September 26, 2012 at 01:17 PM
the Y and places similiar have schedule events and only allow a couple hours a day for open swim. open swim isnt kids swimming around having fun, it is old people swimming laps. i am a single parents with 2 kids, you clearly have no idea what a Y is like if you compare it to memorial and radburn pools, those pools you can hang out outside all day, play at the parks, and make a fun day of it. my kids arent going to enjoy swimming laps indoors at the Y. i have lived in FL all my life and like the school system for my children. I have to work multiple jobs and memorial gives me a great place to drop my kids off at summer camp. i also do not have the time or money to bring my children down the shore or on vacation often, memorial give myself and other familys a great place to enjoy the summer. "The Radburn Association is a private organization, I agreed to join. We have a means of dissolving it, can't say that about Fair Lawn." Fair Lawn is a community that has ALWAYS seperated itself from other towns by having a pool, library, community center and YOU decided to live here.
FLemp September 26, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Tom, didn't I agree with you that people should pay for their entertainment? I've got a news flash for you: Memorial pool, the Rec center, the Library will most likely never close. Deal with it move!
Jenne September 26, 2012 at 02:26 PM
How exactly is threat of tax lien different than threat of lien from the Condo association? People have lost their houses to condo associations for non-payment of condo association fees before, too. Does that not count because when you are evicted by your condo association, it's a state entity that serves the papers?
Jenne September 26, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Tommy doesn't understand the difference between swimming at the Y and at a regular pool. Fitness center pools (are paid for by memberships no matter whether the members use them or not, just like the public pool) are for lap-swimming exercise, not 'recreation', and they seldom provide resources for just playing in the pool.
Jenne September 26, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I don't get why you say "on a daily basis" here. Yeah, my family uses it between 1 and 3 times a week most weeks-- and I pay extra for the privilege of my whole family being able to go, even though most don't. Where does your $600-$750,000 annual LOSS figure come from? The pool brings in $260K and even Trawinski's made-up estimate for cost of running it was only $800K. Again, maybe Mr. Metzler will give us a real accounting of the costs after this year, but they hadn't been separated out in previous years.
Jenne September 26, 2012 at 02:38 PM
You notice how when there's a suggestion to get back some of the fixed costs of things like the Rec Center (which we'd have to pay for even if it closed) by selling memberships to other towns or residents of other towns, all these xenophobes are out here having hysterics about it?
Tommy P September 26, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Good question, there is a contract in a shared ownership agreement that you actively join during the closing (purchase) of a condo. That private contract has provisions, along with responsibilities for shared expenses. The government has a role in enforcing contract law.
Tommy P September 26, 2012 at 02:59 PM
This notion that pointing to history of bad behavior as justification to continue that bad behavior is absurd on its face. I sure do understand the difference between the Y and a plake. I understand that people enjoy using them. Has the thought crossed your mind that no businessman would invest in building a public pool if he has to compete with a subsidized government pool? Look at Coco Keys in Mt Laurel, a beautiful water park which children thoroughly enjoy, government funds to run it, $0. Tomahawk Lake, Sahara Sam's, Mountain Creek, Breakwater Beach, The Fun Plex, Hurricane Harbor, Keansburg Runaway Rapids, Splash Zone, Crystal Springs Water Park, Ocean Oasis, Clementon Splash World, Raging Waters, Thundering Surf, Water Works Aquatic, just a few other NJ places that come to mind :) We all enjoy various things, I enjoy things the town doesn't offer, such as sky diving. Does that mean the town should build an airport and provide access to skydiving at a fraction of the cost? As a society we have a benefit and obligation to ensure the thorough efficient education of our children. We don't have an obligation to provide child care services at a loss. The government should not be competing with private business for entertainment. period. The pool is just that. Walsh Pool is closed. Its about to be filled in. The subsidy of Memorial Pool's years are numbered. This may not have been the last year, but its coming.
Tommy P September 26, 2012 at 03:04 PM
We have already incurred the loss. You may not want to realize it, the town may not want to realize it on the books, but the money is spent, and we will pay for it. We should stop trying to run entertainment businesses, the council needs to stop being a bunch of clowns and auction off a lease on that building ASAP. This concept that I should move because Fair Lawn spends money that it shouldn't is absurd. The government has a role, entertainment isn't one of them. The fix would be a minor improvement to what is otherwise a beautify town located in a great area despite boro hall.
Tommy P September 26, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Stop using logic please, it offends some people here.
LawyerJim September 26, 2012 at 03:27 PM
When you can't afford to keep boro hall open during the summer, when you furlough and layoff cops and employees, when you can't afford to give raises, when you change health benefits on your employees, after lying in public you wouldn't, violating their written contracts, you CLOSE YOUR POOL! You can't maintain what you can't afford, and certainly a pool is not an essential service during all this economic turmoil! FYI, note to the editor, "Non-Resident Use Spiked in 2012", I would hardly call 30 people a spike, it's a spike because Fair Lawn's gates were opened wider to everyone else! 10 years of running the pool, and as per Trawinski, 6 million to 7 million dollars spent, now this is a travesty to hard working Fair Lawn taxpayers!
the Y September 26, 2012 at 03:36 PM
you know whats absurd (and funny), that you think you can make significant changes by complaining on patch on a fake name. you say your a homosexual, sky diving, ex d1 athlete, who donates his time and money to the community, that all sounds like BS and its easy to make up stories under a fake name and picture. you call the council clowns but if you think you can do a better job do it! you want changes run and make the changes yourself! you are all talk and no action! "Good question, there is a contract in a shared ownership agreement that you actively join during the closing (purchase) of a condo." when you moved to fair lawn you agreed to pay taxes, the pool were included in those taxes then and they are now. if you think you can make significant changes without running for council or getting involved then you are just an idiot ( sorry to put it bluntly but if you think commenting on patch is going to make a difference you arent very smart)
Tommy P September 26, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Too funny. It doesn't matter what my orientation is. My name doesn't even matter. The vast majority of Fair Lawn does not read this site, but some do. Including council people. My full name doesn't make any of my points more or less valid. I am sure I have had a few people think about things in a different way after reading my perspective, even if they still disagree with me. I am sure people would be questioning the pool without me commenting here and with friends in town. I have no interest in running for office, it would be bad for my business. I make a nice living and the pay of an honest politician is poverty. I don't care if you question if my athletic skill, I never was and am way too old to ever become a pro. We have some documents which limit the role of government, I am not able to find the "good and plenty clause" nor the "entertainment clauses" of those documents. I don't agree to pay taxes I am forced to, as we ALL are. I am completely okay with pay taxes for necessary services, police, fire, schools come to mind, entertainment doesn't.
@TP September 26, 2012 at 05:39 PM
well tommy im sure our mayor and council members have other things they could be doing with thier time but unlike you in order to attempt to make fair lawn a better place they sacrifice their time. im sure they could be selfish like you and spend their extra time on their careers or families, but unlike you they realize to make change you get involved, not troll the internet. my problem isnt with your opinion, its the constant repetition of your opinion on every single article. theyll be a positive article about a local student and you and the rest of the trolls will turn that into a political debate. my family and many others moved here because fair lawn has great schools and services (pools, rec center, library, etc). these services have been here for decades. it would not be right to take away these services when that is the reason many people moved here or decided to stay here. im sure youre a supporter of parents deciding what school their child attends. well to me this is the same thing; some towns have cheaper taxes and no services, some like fair lawn have extra taxes for pools and libraries, YOU are free to chose which town you live in. it would not be fair to TAKE AWAY things that made people move to FL in the first place.
analogy September 26, 2012 at 06:07 PM
moving to fair lawn and then complaining about a pool would be like paying $30 for an all you can eat resturaunt and than arguing with the manager at the end that you should only pay $20 because you only ate chicken and potatoes. if you dont want all you can eat and just chicken and potatoes find a resturaunt that serves chicken and potatoe for $20. if you dont want to pay extra taxes for a pool and library go live in a town that has cheaper taxes and no pool or library. the end
analogy September 26, 2012 at 08:22 PM
no its not- because when you moved to fair lawn you knew your tax money was going to the pool, library, senior center, and rec center just as it always has. and you would be foolish to think it would change just because you dont like it
analogy September 26, 2012 at 08:24 PM
mjm- are you saying when you moved here you didnt realize your taxes went to the pool, rec, senior center and library? that would be pretty foolish of you to move somewhere without researching where your tax money went first
Tommy P September 27, 2012 at 02:58 AM
So it's ok to "TAKE AWAY" money but not the wasteful entertainment when we are short cops, need to charge for ambulance service, increase water and property taxes. What's next a 20 million dollar Memorial Pool upgrade complete with a year round facility? We have the county employees who turned their "service" into lucrative government jobs, private sector employees who lack benefits and take advantage of our full time benefits. I enjoy my ethical hacking practice, being publically political could only hurt my business. I give of myself in many ways, but thats not relevant. The wasted money TAKEN under threat of FORCE for a government pool is the problem. That pool is reauthorized each year, the full expenses are hidden from view and less than 1 in 6 people use it, while the other 5 are forced to chip in.


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