Mimimum wage, credit card fees, extended hours cited for fee hikes at Morristown pool

The sprinklers are sprinkling at the Burnham Park pool in Morristown. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Rates at the Burnham Park pool in Morristown are poised for their first increase since 2010. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Morristown’s council is poised to raise fees at the Burnham Park municipal pool for the first time since 2010.

The state’s new minimum wage law, which hiked the hourly minimum by a dollar to $8.25, is one reason cited by new town Recreation Supervisor Tim Roetman.

Additionally, the town plans to extend weekend pool hours this summer, opening at 10 am instead of noon. That’s expected to add $6,384 in payroll expenses. And the public convenience of credit card payments for online registration cost the town more than $7,200 in transaction fees and software costs in 2013.

Membership rates for the past season looked like this:

  • Family: $224 (resident), $334 (non-resident)
  • Family babysitter: $89
  • Couple: $191 / $287
  • Adult (18-59): $137 / $198
  • Youth (5-17): $97 / $110
  • Senior (60 and over): $42 / $81
  • Daily (no guests) $38 / $50 plus daily fee:
  • Weekday:  $7 / $8
  • Weekends: $7 / $14

Proposed rates for 2014:

  • Family: $235 (resident) / $345  (nonresident)
  • Family babysitter: $100
  • Couple: $200 / $300
  • Adult: $140 / $210
  • Youth: $100 / $120
  • Senior: $45 / $85
  • Daily: $50 / $65

Proposed rates for 2015:

  • Family: $240 (resident) / $350 (nonresident)
  • Family babysitter: $100
  • Couple: $205 / $310
  • Adult: $145 / $220
  • Youth: $105 / $130
  • Senior: $49 / $89
  • Daily: $55 / $70

The council unanimously approved introduction of the revised fee ordinance on Tuesday.

From mid-June to Labor Day 2013 some 2,200 people used the pool, “an essential piece of the Town’s landscape” that offers competitive swimming, swim lessons, a July 4 party and movie night, and a casual spot for relaxation and socializing, Tim said in a memo to town officials.

But pool revenues of $151, 814 fell shy of covering expenses by $15,720, an amount covered by taxpayers, according to the report.

Higher fees are meant to bridge the gap, and help fund eventual upgrades to restrooms, concession and signage,along with other landscaping and infrastructure tweaks to “reduce risk, improve aesthetics, create new ‘fun’ experiences and most importantly, attract and retain members,” the supervisor wrote.

A survey of 2012 municipal pool rates in Morris Township, Madison, Hanover, Chester, Bernards, Summit and Hackettstown found all except Hackettstown charged significantly more than Morristown.

The priciest family pool pass for residents was $425 in Chester. Morristown’s was $224. It cost $105 in Hackettstown.

 

 

 



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