Summer in Verona means, for many people, summer at the Verona Pool. Membership renewal forms are in the mail, and there’s a new vendor coming to the snack bar. There will also be some pretty big changes to the pool itself. Here’s what you need to know.
This year’s pool snack bar will be managed by Vending to Please, a company out of Mountainside. Verona Township Engineer Jim Helb told the Town Council on Monday night that the company has had vending contracts in Westfield, Maplewood, Clark and Union. Unlike other town contracts, the pool vending contract is awarded to the highest bidder. Vending to Please bid $20,000 for the Verona contract, while the other two bidders, who were not identified, bid $18,000 and $18,300. But while previous contracts have been for three years, this year’s contract is for one year only with an option for renewal.
Membership fees will once again rise slightly. The Family membership will rise to $420 from $410, while the Family with Babysitter badge goes to $515 from $500. The Couple membership will be $385, up from $375 and the Parent/Child membership will rise to $360 from $350. An individual membership is $270 and a senior membership is $140. There is a late fee of $20 after May 4.
To put these fees in perspective, membership at the community pool in Glen Ridge costs $750 for a family, plus a non-refundable initiation fee of $1,250. Seniors in Glen Ridge get only a 10% discount on their appropriate category ($35 off a $350 single membership) plus a $625 initiation fee. Cedar Grove has pool rates for both residents and non-residents. A family who lives in the borough will pay $490 for the 2012 season; a non-resident family pays $937. Singles pay $350 and $523, respectively, while the senior rates are $169 and $340. Swim lessons and swim team participation are free in Cedar Grove. (If you want to register for Verona’s swim team, click here.)
The new snack bar vendor won’t be the only change at the pool. Early this week, construction workers were putting the final touches on the roll-in ramp that stretches across the entire south side of the 3-foot end of the pool. On the north side of the shallow end (the side closest to the baby pool), the small ladder has been replaced by a so-called step-out deck. That put the water depth at about two feet at that exit point. To accommodate the roll-in ramp, all of the lap lanes have been shifted toward the deeper end of the pool. There will also be new lifeguard chairs, new swim team diving blocks and a pitched roof on the maintenance shed by the basketball courts. That roof, like the one on the snack bar, could carry solar panels if PSE&G ever changes its rules to allow panels at seasonal installations.
To be a Verona pool member you’ll need to mail in your renewal form and check, or pay at Town Hall. Though the pool is managed by the Recreation Department, you can’t register through its online CommunityPass system. If you are a new member, you can pick up the membership form at the Verona Community Center at 880 Bloomfield Avenue. Questions? Call 973-857-4770.
With the addition of the new roll-in ramp and the step-out deck, it will be even more necessary for bathers to respect the fact that lap lanes are for swimming laps, not for WWT, Walking While Talking.