LETTER TO THE EDITOR
To the Editor:
I was not able to attend the recent Lynn Township board of supervisors’ meeting when a swimming pool project for our township was proposed.
I base this comment on the extensive coverage provided by the Northwestern Press in the April 18, 2019 issue.
The group proposing the pool offered their own survey.
The 89 percent favorable responses of the only 490 people surveyed represents support of only about 10 percent of our township.
Those surveyed were likely questioned at athletic events or practices and are likely parents or relatives of athletes or young children, not retirees on fixed income or families without school children at home who will feel the financial burden that will only increase over time.
Did this group present a business plan?
What revenue do they contend will make this costly venture sustainable?
I had written a letter and spoke against the purchase of Ontelaunee Park years ago strictly because of the swimming pool management, maintenance and liability issues I mention here.
I was so relieved when the pool failed a feasibility study. The park is a great asset to our township and neighbors.
We can be proud of a great example of a successful community effort with events every month that don’t involve additional payroll, massive liability or cash transactions to monitor.
It’s a jewel in our township. End of story or so I thought.
The following are potential negative aspects of the proposed swimming pool project.
Employment: Part-time seasonal positions will not attract professionals or very many qualified adults to achieve quality employment.
We will have to support a payroll. We will be paying for Workmen’s Compensation Insurance. There will be HR issues.
Let’s face it. We will be creating an out-of-school environment of minimally clothed youth and adults.
We will have the headaches of a retail environment including theft of items, theft of cash, cost of auditing, management of purchases, training in first aid, CPR, lifesaving, maintenance and mechanical training for daily and longer term repairs and long-term costs to maintain and replace equipment.
Liability: Our solicitor can speak to the horrors of injury and death of citizens or employees and potential criminal activities.
We can ask our solicitor who will be sued if an intoxicated person hops the fence and drowns in our pool?
Costs: Is there a budget offered for construction costs? Is there a pro forma schedule of ongoing costs for maintenance, employees, training, management, insurance, auditing, supplies, security and safety?
Are there licenses or inspections required and what are those costs? The costs of insurances will only increase over time. What is the basis that the group feels will make the project sustainable?
Heaven help us the first time there is an accusation of discrimination, or inappropriate behavior including sexual, or issues involving sexual identity or preference.
Also I’d like to hear how this proposed pool wouldn’t be plagued by costly vandalism, off-hours attempts at swimming, theft of property and embezzlement which is all too common in the Valley and across the country especially in municipalities, volunteer organizations and nonprofits.
I feel an honest survey should be taken, not a list of supporters on a petition.
I am considering a petition to challenge efforts to commit our township to this financial and liability nightmare.
I personally would rather see this financial commitment, if available, focused on security and protection of our citizens, children and property.
If people want a proper swimming pool then it should be taken up with the school board.
Our school district has security and maintenance infrastructure as well as business and insurance programs in place.
The school is equipped with professionals at many levels. They are able to deal with youth and families, security and day to day issues.
Bottom line: The pool supporters propose a plan they say will be sustainable. The revenue to offset expenses and costs must be coming from sales of memberships, access and selling stuff, like snacks and candy.
In other words the revenue is from sales and business profits. Show us the money.
The township has no business risking our precious resources by starting this commercial business venture.