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After Debate, Mahwah Decides to Use Expiring $22K Pool Upgrade Grant

The township council, which is planning to hire a consultant to analyze what upgrades need to be made to the municipal pool to make it more viable, debated whether it should use the grant to make small improvements now.

After some discussion last Thursday about whether it should or not, the township council has decided to use a $22,000 county grant to upgrade certain aspects of the municipal pool.

The grant is a matching one, so Mahwah will also need to throw $22,000 into an upgrade project. According to officials, the township received the grant several years ago, but has yet to use it. It is set to expire, and if it’s unused by this spring, the money will be returned to the county.

The grant can only be used for upgrades to the pool’s playground or to install small water features at the intermediate pool, but officials said it would likely not be enough money to do both.

At a meeting last Thursday, the council discussed what it should do with the grant in the context of a larger planned overhaul of the municipal pool, which has been consistently costing the town hundreds of thousands of dollars to operate, and attracting a shrinking number of patrons, each year.

The council said it will likely hire a consultant this year to make recommendations on what could be done to upgrade the municipal pool and make it more attractive to residents. However, that would not happen until after the grant’s expiration.

“I’m not so sure we should be putting $22,000 into the pool when we are going to hire a consultant,” Councilman Steve Sbarra said.

“I think we should reapply for [the grant] after we get a better feel for what we actually need there.”

However, other council members disagreed, arguing that improvements made to the playground could stay in no matter what the consultant’s recommendations are.

“So much has to be done [to upgrade the pool area], I’d hate to throw away $22,000,” Councilman Harry Williams said. “My vote would be to execute this grant.”

A majority of the council agreed with Williams, and voted last week to use the grant. The township’s administrator said he would get quotes from vendors on work the grant could pay for.

Meanwhile, council members said the consultant will likely look at a wide range of possibilities for the pool’s future, including privatizing it.

Susan Manziano January 30, 2014 at 07:05 AM
Above all, they must address the drainage problem. The area is a swamp attracting bugs and stink.
mercedes January 30, 2014 at 07:13 AM
I agree with Susan!
Mahwah Resident January 30, 2014 at 08:18 AM
This is an easy consulting job. These are the four big problems why the pool cannot attract members. A) The bathrooms are nasty! It's embarrassing when the bathrooms at the dreaded Pilot gas station are cleaner. Seriously. B) Stop acting like a Nazi about swim diapers in the intermediate pool (3'). There is no reason for a family with small kids to waste money on a membership. C) Do something about the mud on the hill. D) Invest in a slide (kids like fun).
Tammi January 30, 2014 at 10:07 AM
The terrain and the drainage is a terrible problem. Terrain meaning, no sun worshiper can go to the pool during pool hours, face the sun AND watch their children in the intermediate or adult pools without A. being covered by shade, B. being hit in the head by a volleyball, C. teetering in your lawn chair at a ridiculous angle.
nextdoor January 30, 2014 at 10:29 PM
This article talks about funds for specific use of the grant ...can only be used for upgrades to the pool’s playground or to install small water features at the intermediate pool. Although I don't have children of that age, there are alot of safety concerns, in what you would call the playground area. You have a swing set that dates back to who knows when, that is rusted and has no safe landing. If a child slips from wearing a wet bathing suit on the swings, they land on packed earth, no mulch or padding off any sort. Which mine did years ago, on her back, that knocked the wind out of her. They also have the metal ducks on coils, again on packed earth. Thank goodness they got rid of the metal spin around thing. All in favor of slides, but need to see what happening in top platform enclosed area as unsupervised. Kids need to have fun and some freedom, safely. Especially in an area that is their own. Within sight. Use the funds as intended.
William Hunt January 31, 2014 at 09:33 AM
"... the township received the grant several years ago ..." I'm glad they used the time to carefully decide how to spend the money and now they are rushing to spend it before they lose it.
JoeRobertson February 12, 2014 at 02:27 PM
A couple of comments. First, to "Mahwah Resident." There is a REASON for swim diapers not to be allowed in the intermediate pool. E-Coli. The diapers do NOT keep poo from escaping into the pool. I get grossed out when babies are in the pool. And forget the doo dads for the kids. CLEAN THE BATHROOMS!!! There is black mold in the showers. There is hair in the drains that has been there for decades. The toilets are disgusting. HIRE A CLEANING SERVICE! Don't depend on teenagers (lifeguards) to do your cleaning. And how about some activities for the adults? Everything in Mahwah is always all about the kids. How about the adult tax payers???!!!!
JoeRobertson February 12, 2014 at 02:32 PM
To Mahwah Resident... "Exhibit A" right from Kimberly Clark. Note that the swim diapers DO NOT prevent poo from entering the water. http://formingthethread.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/lilswimmers.pdf

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