Fees to use Maplewood’s public swimming pool will go up this year by $100, or more in some cases, to help cover costs of renovating the pool.
The Township Committee plans to vote next month on the first fee increase since 2010.
The hike is intended to cover the debt service for the more than $1 million worth of improvements at the pool, as well as in anticipation of “pool operating costs.”
When the pool opens June 16, there will be two new water slides, a new pool deck, and accessible ramps into the pool, among other improvements. The pool season closes on Sept. 3.
“I wish we didn’t have to do them,” Township Committeeman Jerry Ryan said of the fare hikes, “but we need them to cover our costs.”
Membership fees will increase 30 percent for everyone, except senior citizens and families with caregivers.
Fees vary depending on when residents sign up. The town is giving early-bird discounts to those who sign up before April 30.
In recent years, after the early-bird discount expired, an individual member could pay $172 for the season, while a family membership, which includes three to seven people, could pay $300.
After hearing complaints from the public, officials agreed at the Feb. 21 meeting to lower the increase for senior citizens and families with caregivers.
Membership fees will go up 16 percent for senior citizens this summer. The cost for a senior to use the pool will be $180, rather than $185, as originally proposed.
“There was some concern about this from seniors,” Mayor Vic De Luca said after the meeting.
The rate for a family with a caregiver will be $500, rather than the proposed $600.
The pool, considered a utility, must use membership fees to pay the debt on the bond for the improvements, De Luca said.
Last year, the pool had about 7,000 members, De Luca said. He said the addition of the water slides would attract families, while other improvements will help keep current members.
He added that the town’s pool committee would campaign this year to recruit new members. Membership is restricted to residents of the town.
De Luca, a self-described “beach man,” said he is not a member of the pool.
Philip Sean Curran can be reached at 908-686-7700, ext. 116, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.