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Rate Increase Proposed at Holmdel Swim Club

Residents will pay five percent more under the plan. The public hearing and Township Committee vote is scheduled for March 22.

Membership to the Holmdel Swim Club will increase by five percent for residents, and 7.5% for non-residents, under a proposal to be voted upon by the Township Committee on March 22.

Last year, approximately 850 people bought memberships to the club, most of them non-residents. If membership levels stay the same, the utility's income would increase by $28,215, according to the Recreation Dept.

That number can go even higher if the township can attract some nearby Middletown families, who just learned the township will not be opening their club this summer for financial reasons. But Holmdel has competition. Hazlet Township's Swim Club has been actively luring Middletown members for weeks with reduced non-member rates. Provided the Township Committee approves the rate increase following a public hearing on March 22, Holmdel will finally be able to sign up new members.

RESIDENT

2011 Fee

2012 Proposed Fee

Early Family

$510

$535

Family

$565

$590

Early Individual

$285

$300

Individual

$325

$340

Early Senior

$115

$125

Senior

$135

$145

August Family

$355

$375

 

 

NON RESIDENT

2011 Fee

2012 Proposed Fee

Early Family

$670

$720

Family

$710

$760

Early Individual

$355

$385

Individual

$390

$420

Early Senior

$130

$140

Senior

$155

$165

August Family

$415

$445

Dean D'Ambrosi February 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM
If we are trying to attract new members why are we increasing the the fees for resident and non-resident? Increasing the fees could cause some families to drop membership and then that will increase the amount of new members the facility has to attract. So instead of 42 new families the facility has to attract 60 or 65 families. Being in membership I will tell you it is a heck of a lot less expensive to retain members then it is to attract and sell new ones. Keep the rates the same and work on maintaining the retention rate and but creatively promote to new resident and non-resident families. With less disposable income for families any type on rate increase in this economy is going to do more damage than good. Especially if the facility if competing with another township.
Suzanne Niro February 28, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Took the words out of my mouth Dean! They also admit that most Holmdel membership is non-resident, granted, most residents may have their own pools and no need for a pool club, but why further penalize the Holmdel resident who does not have a pool or seeks the club for socialization? And if non-residents are on the fence about joining, well, your increase just pushed them over to Hazlet. Another fact that the township may not know, you will lose a certain number of members through swim team rivalry. Middletown team may opt to compete with Hazlet, against Holmdel. Bottom line, I don't see any upside to an increase.
Nick J. February 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Hazlet's resident rate is $578, so even with the increase the resident fees being proposed by Holmdel are lower. However, Hazlet is running a sale until March 5, that non-residents can join for the resident rate. After that time, the non-resident rate reverts back to $754 which is higher than what Holmdel is proposing. And it is true that 60% of the members of our pool club are non-residents. During the last TC meeting, it was stated that rates haven't been increased in three years....so a modest 5% increase is certainly justified.
Dean D'Ambrosi February 28, 2012 at 03:07 PM
@ Nick J - Justified does not make it the right move. On another note is there a Holmdel Pool Commission? If not why? Seems that the promotion and expansion of the club's membership should be someone's responsibility. Where does that responsibility fall right now? Who is accountable?
Nick J. February 28, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Actually Dean, the word justify does actually mean that it's the right move. I believe there is a pool club committee, perhaps tied in the recreation committee...so someone is responsible for this.
Dean D'Ambrosi February 28, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Thanks Nick but I respectfully disagree. Would love to know who is in charge of promoting and who is accountable for membership growth.
Grace Modla February 28, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Jumping in to say that at the last TC meeting on 2/23, the Committee voted to appoint a new ad-hoc pool club committee with volunteers who were present that evening. Holmdel did have a Pool Club committee years ago which disbanded. Perhaps a former or new member can say more.
david rampulla February 28, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Why not keep rates the same for residents to entice more residents to join. And keep the non-resident rate a little below what Hazlet charges. This way we doing right for Holmdel residents, while not leaving any money on the table.
pete February 28, 2012 at 08:09 PM
I am sure they would be more than happy to accept new members to the pool committee. I agree making it more enticing for both residents and non-residents is the right play. only thing i would do first is understand what numbers we had last year and what the pool club could hold realistically. This way any new members joining will have an enjoyable summer and not bail after just a year.
Resident February 28, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Does the proposed increase in pool membership fees come from the fact that the surplus budget for the pool was raided for other (mismanaged) purposes and now there is no funds for maintenance etc, as has been captured in recent articles about Holmdel?!?
Debbie Brew February 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM
When I was growing up here, there was a pool club committee and my father was Manager for some years. A while ago the swim club sent out a note asking for suggestions on improvements to the swim club. I called my dad and we talked over a lot of things that made the club a fun family place in the 70s and I elaborated on those and sent several suggestions including creating a pool club committee again. There is so much room for improvement and if there were children's arts/crafts/activities offered amongst other things, maybe an increase wouldn't seem so terrible. It is not a significant increase but show us some changes/improvements with that. I still haven't had a response to my note. I'm not sure if others have. One of my suggestions was to have their membership forms at Village School Kindergarten Orientation as many of those families are new and may not even know about the pool club. Registration ended last week....missed opportunity.
Barbara Germinario February 29, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Debbie is right. Years ago the pool club had arts and crafts for the children. Now there is nothing for them to do, short of the swim classes. As for improvements, I too have emailed a few suggestions back - such as buying more lounges and expanding the Handicapped parking slots but to no avail. You hear nothing back. I believe the Swim Club was the only budget that still had a surplus until recently. It seemed to disappear.
Steve Strickland February 29, 2012 at 05:43 PM
The next time you run into a pool club member, be sure to thank them for helping you pay your taxes. The pool club has an operating profit of roughly 200%, i.e. the revenue from memberships, guest passes, snack stand, etc. is about 3 times what it costs to run the pool. The surplus is (as far as I know) just folded into the overall town budget as another revenue source (in the town budget documents, this transfer appears to be the line item "Other Expenses" ). Among other things, this means that nothing has been set aside for the occasional big maintenance expenses (pump/filter replacement, re-decking, etc.) that may cost $1M or more. I'm sure at that time there will be talk about how we can't afford the club and need to sell it off or close it (like the tennis club). How does this 200% compare to the operating profit of other town activities? Cross Farms, leaf/brush collection, snow removel, community center? Oh, none of these generate profits (or revenue in some cases). So why are pool club members singled out to help underwrite the town budget (and are now being squeezed even more)? You tell me. We've had a debate in my household, the last few years, about whether to join the Pool Club. This could be the year we finally opt out (like most of our friends). (I was a member of the Pool Committee 2003-2006).
Dean D'Ambrosi February 29, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Steve, I find the entire thing very disappointing. We have a pool and we have joined the pool club the last few years because of the social aspect. Instead of having everyone at the house it is fun to meet at the pool. If the TC wants to make this work they really need to appoint a Pool Committee that is not only responsible for the pool but is accountable for its success. This includes promotion, building reserves, activities, special events etc. There is now reason why this can't make 300% or even 400% if run properly. I don't have a problem diverting some of the funds back into the township budget but there needs to be some governance/restrictions. It seems the pool is an afterthought and that is really disappointing because it can be so much better/more.
Mischa February 29, 2012 at 08:04 PM
It is my understanding (and correct me if I'm wrong) that the swim club had a substantial budget surplus which was absconded by the Township but I don't know for what purpose. These issues are very troubling and are in my opinion representative of mismanagement.
Nick J. February 29, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Steve, under your same line of thinking, don't forget to thank the senior citizens in our 55 and older communities, for subsidizing your school taxes. Unfortunately for you, we live in a society where sometimes you have to pay for something that you don't use and vice versa.
Fact Check February 29, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Nick J Don't forget to ask "the senior citizens at the 55 and older communities" who are subsidizingtoday's school taxes to thank the senior citizens in the 75 and older communities who subsidized their school taxes. Food for thought...
George F June 05, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Is over crowding an issue? It's simple economics, "supply and demand". If there's more demand, now that Middletown is closed and supply is staying the same, then prices can rise. Of course, if it's a not for profit senario, then prices should decrease.... But it sounds like it's not a not for profit endeavor. I stopped by to check it out and they said it does get overcrowded, so we will probably not join.

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