The Mayor’s Message – Pool Membership Questions – May 23, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

I am writing today to clarify misinformation which is circulating on social media.

The Village Board made a decision several weeks ago to allow a limited number of pool season applications (up to 40 families) from the New Hyde Park area, specifically those residing in the area served by the Clinton G. Martin Pool, which is closed for renovations. This decision was made following an inquiry from that pool and then a formal request from the Town of North Hempstead if we would consider opening our pool as an option, among others, for some of those living in the district served by that pool. This request was made several months prior as the Town of North Hempstead made plans for the closure of the Clinton G. Martin Pool. At that time, the Village reviewed the option in light of pool operations, membership numbers, budgetary needs and various other factors. Specifically, we looked at whether or not adding any of these families would cause an undue burden on operations, finances, people’s enjoyment, etc.  We also looked at membership numbers for the two years in which the pool has been open since renovations and found that there was a decrease in membership from 2015 to 2016. While not a large decrease, it was determined that if we allowed these 40 family memberships it would not cause an undue burden as we had already operated under these membership numbers. In the same vein, a suggestion was made to allow local business owners to join the Pool.  Following the same review, it was determined we could accommodate business owners whose businesses are within the boundaries of the Village as well.

It must be noted that none of these decisions were made in a vacuum. In fact, before we proceeded, the ideas were put in front of the volunteer resident Pool Committee for their review and input.  These are the very people who push for, design and vet every decision and idea for the pool to make it the fine place it is. This committee was intimately involved in the decision to proceed with the Pool reconstruction and the Pool re-design and they are the reason the pool is that great complex it is. Their advice and guidance are taken very seriously and I applaud their dedication and determination for maintaining the pool as it is.

I want to take a moment to clear up a few questions that neighbors have asked regarding this decision:   The Facts are:

  1. We have agreed to allow 40 memberships in our Pool for this season from those within the area served by the Clinton G. Martin Pool, New Hyde Park. These 40 memberships most likely would be a mix of single, couple, senior citizen and family memberships. It is estimated that this may constitute approximately a three percent (3%) increase on our 2016 membership numbers and in line with our 2015 membership numbers.
  2. A business owner must have a business within the boundaries of the Incorporated Village of Floral Park to join the pool.
  3. Pricing for any of the members from New Hyde Park or for a Floral Park business owner would be at the “Non-Resident” rate.
  4. The Non-Resident rate that will be charged to any potential members from the Clinton G. Martin district or to non-resident Floral Park business owners will be the same Non-Resident rate that we have charged to non-resident Pool members who reside within the Floral Park- Bellerose Elementary School District, and whom we have allowed to join our Pool for years. The Non-Resident rates are approximately 34% to 36% higher than the Village resident pool membership rates.
  5. The 40 memberships from the New Hyde Park area will have no impact on the applications from non-resident families living within the Floral Park-Bellerose Elementary School District boundaries. All who apply will continue to be admitted.
  6. Membership for those from the Clinton G. Martin Pool district would end upon the re-opening of the Clinton G. Martin Pool. There would be no “Grandfathering.”
  7. Access to the Pool would not allow access to other areas of the Recreation Center. Our existing non-resident pool policy, which is part of the Pool membership application every non-resident applicant has had to complete for years, clearly states: “A non-resident Pool Pass does not act as a leisure pass for use at the VFP Recreation Center.”

We have received several calls and communications and we are aware that some people may not agree with this decision.  Yet, once the facts are explained, nearly all have understood the decision. We are very respectful of your opinions and, in most cases, understand the points you raise. I can assure you that we will monitor the situation and adjust operations accordingly if we find this situation is not working.

Perhaps one positive aspect of this controversy is that it reflects that the residents of Floral Park truly believe that our newly renovated pool is a tremendous asset of this community and that we are rightfully proud of it and want to protect it. I assure you that the Village Board and Pool Committee desire to protect this asset and share your concerns about overcrowding, parking and security as well.

We understand that not everyone will agree with our decisions and I assure you that you will always be met with respect and our differences discussed civilly.  The one thing that you should be assured of is that any decision we ultimately make is done with very careful planning, solid and factual information, a review of the pros and cons and with the best interest of our community at heart. This decision to allow a limited number of families into our pool from New Hyde Park, while theirs is being completed, was made taking all the above into account as well as that of the good nature and neighbors helping neighbors mantra that is the hallmark of Floral Park.

To obtain accurate information about any topic that affects the Village, please come to a Village Board Meeting, or call Village Hall (326-6300) or speak to me or any Trustee. You may also submit a question on this website, under “Contact Us”.

Our community is one of the most desirable communities in the country. We will work diligently to ensure it always stays that way and work even further to maintain and promote all that is good here. You are truly welcome to be a part of this effort.

 

Dominick A. Longobardi

Mayor