As the completion of the new Town Pool at the Rosendale Recreation Center draws nearer to reality, municipal officials have been grappling with the burning question of what it will cost to spend a day — or a couple of months — enjoying it. At its last two meetings, the Town Board has weighed the fees recommended by the Recreation Commission, tweaked and argued and finally adopted a fee schedule for the 2016 summer swim season.
Complicating the issue was the fact that the season will be shorter than normal, anticipated to get underway the first week in July, rather than on Memorial Day weekend. According to councilman John Hughes, board liaison to the Recreation Commission, progress on the reconstruction has been going swimmingly, due to the mild winter just past. “Most of the underground piping and testing is done,” he reported to the Town Board at its May 11 meeting. “The big piles of dirt from the excavation are gone.”
Hughes said that the concrete underlayment is completed, parging and tooling are underway and tiles are being set, including the “turn tiles at the end of the lane” that tell lap swimmers and racers where to flip over and head back the other way. “They’re getting ready to paint. And the lifeguard chairs are in place.”
Renovations to the bathhouse will not be completed in time for the beginning of the swimming season, however, because the scale of that project was expanded and state funding has not yet been disbursed. “We got a special offer from New York Rising” — the state agency responsible for funding post-Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee flood mitigation projects — “to make it into a super-bathhouse, for emergencies,” Hughes explained. “They’re paying for it, but that means bureaucracy, and that means delays.” Temporary hand-washing and foot-washing stations will be installed for the early part of the pool season, Hughes said, in addition to porta-potties.
In discussing the fee schedule, the Town Board tried to balance the abbreviated swimming season with the fact that the new pool will be markedly more modern and appealing than its predecessor. Town supervisor Jeanne Walsh was particularly adamant that none of the new rates should be as low as they were in 2011, the last time that there was a price increase.
Ultimately, board members concurred on a schedule in which most fees were slightly higher than the Recreation Commission’s recommendations. Day rates for use of the pool this summer will be as follows: Town of Rosendale residents will pay $5 per day per adult, $3 per child aged 3 to 16, $2 per seniors aged 65+ and $1 per non-swimmer accompanying a swimmer. Non-residents will pay $8 daily for adults, $4 for children, $4 for seniors and $3 for non-swimmers. Toddlers aged 2 and under will get in free, regardless of residency.
For season passes for town residents, adults will pay $150, seniors $65; families residing in the same household will pay $200 for the first three persons and $25 extra for each additional family member. Non-residents will be charged $225 for an adult, $100 for a senior, $300 for a family of three in the same household plus $35 for each additional family member.
It was decided that children registered for the Recreation Center’s summer day camp program will not be charged anything extra for use of the Pool. Group homes like Brookside and Family House will no longer be charged a family rate, but will be able to negotiate special package rates with the Recreation Commission. Series of swim lessons will cost $40 for Rosendale residents and $50 for non-residents.
In past years, no distinction was made between fees for residents and non-residents.
“I don’t have a problem with it being higher for non-residents,” noted Walsh. “They’re not paying the taxes to pay the bills.”