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West Caldwell Dives Back Into Town Pool Talks

Township plans to evaluate cost of modernizing each pool.

West Caldwell Dives Back Into Town Pool Talks

The topic of town pools re-emerged at Tuesday night’s West Caldwell council meeting.

With the and pools now closed for the season, the governing body plans to evaluate how much it would cost to modernize each facility.

The mayor and council floated the idea of closing one pool in order to make the other a state-of-the-art facility. For financial reasons, the township might have to sell one property to pay for work on the other.

The pool utility does not generate enough money to pay for capital improvements, West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta Jr. said Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Township Administrator Jock Watkins told Patch revenue from pool memberships was $533,503.30 for the 2011 season, while the expenditures so far this year are $383,170.81.

Watkins said there are seven categories of memberships. The total number of memberships by town for 2011 were: West Caldwell, 907; Caldwell, 443; and Roseland, 108.

Before moving forward with any plan for the pools, the governing body would like to know how much the evaluations would cost. Watkins was asked to investigate and report those figures back to the council.

Without a full analysis the future of the pools remains unclear.

“We are not completely sold that we need to close a pool,” Tempesta said.

Watkins suggested at the start of the discussion that the mayor and council decide which facility they would like to expand and make the premiere facility. The mayor and council, however, felt that both locations need to be considered. (Councilman Stephen Wolsky was absent from Tuesday's meeting.)

One vision is to connect Westville Pool with the adjacent James Caldwell High School property and create a “sportsplex," said Councilman Dominick Aiello. The councilman said he plans to share renderings with other council members to get a better idea of what such a facility might look like.

“It could be a beautiful, attractive facility,” Tempesta said. “We want to do it right. We want to build something we could be proud of.”

Meanwhile, the township has received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to make parking at Westville pool handicapped accessible. The $76,000 grant would pay for drainage, leveling, resurfacing and painting of an area by the entrance gate to be designated for handicapped parking. The grant needs to be used by the end of the year and the money cannot be redirected.

The pools are run by the West Caldwell Recreation Department, which accepts members from West Caldwell, Caldwell and Roseland.

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