Lopatcong Pool & Town Council Meeting, April 7

    This is the second of two emails:

    The Lopatcong pool will not be opening this summer. As far as I know, a large leak was discovered and that is one of the reasons the Lopatcong Town Council decided not to open this year. The unexpected cost to the budget is something they were not prepared for. However, please know, this is only my understanding at this time; the Lopatcong Town Council has not provided any formal statements providing their thinking or other information.

    Regardless, we need to demonstrate community support for the pool by writing to the town council and showing up at the town council meeting to put pressure on them (see attached PDF for info).

    As a team, I'd like us to do the following:

    1. Send an email to Lopatcong Town Council members expressing support for the pool reopening in 2022.
    2. Please reach out to any former team members or non-team members who you know would also like to see the pool open, and have them send an email of support too.
    3. Attend the virtual town council meetings via Zoom on April 7, 2021.

    Team Talking Points:

    1. The pool is a vital community resource.
    2. The pool is the one place that binds the community together. Everyone in this area has memories of going to the Lopatcong pool across generations.
    3. Lopatcong has no real summer community center, no downtown, only the park and athletic facilities act as that. The pool is a vital part of that structure.
    4. Founded in 1967, for decades the pool was run successfully under private management. Starting in the 2000s, it also met its budget under township management; it continues to do well financially.
    5. The pool meets its budget and is mostly self-sustaining year-to-year (see numbers below).
    6. There is a significant misperception the pool costs the township an excessive amount of money. An analysis of the pool budget from 2019 shows otherwise.
    7. In 2019 the pool brought in $12,989.78 in revenue above what was budgeted.
    8. Even if there were years the pool was over budget, it's a worthwhile community center and something many Lopatcong residents support.

    2019 Pool Budget

    • $124,000 budgeted for pool operations.
    • $145,760.57 credited (amount of money the pool bought in).
    • +$21,760.57 revenue above initial budget estimate.
    • -$8770.79 additional debits/PO payments
    • +$12,989.78 total amount of revenue the pool brought in above what was budgeted.

    Other costs?

    • There may be other costs associated with opening, closing, and running the pool not indicated on the pool budget. However, those costs are mitigated by the fact that the staff doing that work are already township employees regardless if the pool opens or not.
    • The 16 page budget does not specifically cite the cost of chlorine, employee salaries, etc.
    • However, the $124,000 is the initial budgeted amount indicated to run the pool, which should include those costs.
    • The $145,000 is the amount of money brought in by the pool.
    • Only the $8,770 in additional debits/payments not in the original budget estimate are included in what was released to me by the township.

    What about previous years?

    • Although I no longer have the paperwork to prove this definitively, on two other occasions when I had the opportunity to look at the pool budget, it had a slight positive revenue above what was budgeted too.
    • Common sense: If it was run privately since 1967, clearly it made enough money to stay open, at least until the township management began. Even then, if we look at 2019 specifically, it was financially feasible for the township to continue running it.

    Future years beyond 2021?

    • There will be significant costs to fix the leak, reline the pool, redo the filter and piping, and the cement around the pool afterwards.
    • Rather than doing it piecemeal, and keeping the pool on life support, we should do it the right way with aquatic design professionals to ensure the pool lasts another few decades.
    • These costs are worth the community investment.

    Written Comments should be sent to the Lopatcong Municipal Clerk Beth Dilts by 7:30pm on April 6, 2021 via email diltsb@lopatcongtwp.com or via mail to 232 S. 3rd Street, Phillipsburg, New Jersey 08865.

    Town Council Emails

    Hope to see everyone soon,

    Coach Drake

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