It will cost more for people to go for a swim at the Plainfield town pool, but to many, it’s better than the alternative: shutting it down.
The pool, in the basement of the town hall, is almost 100 years old. Earlier this year, it was on the brink of closing down since the town budget was tight.
But Recreation Director Myra Ambrogi said residents wanted the local swimming spot. So to keep it open, those who use it will shoulder an additional $52,000 over the course of the year, for the operating costs.
"It's going back onto the backs of everybody that's using it," Ambrogi said.
The pool will need $112,000 to operate this fiscal year. That means starting July 1, there are rate increases across the board.
For example, the cost of open swim for an adult will up from $3 to $5. Water exercise classes three times per week will boost in price from $90 to $150 for 12 weeks of classes.
"We will probably lose some people. We hope that we don't lose a lot. We were very conservative on our numbers," Ambrogi said.
"I think it's relatively fair," said resident Ryan Gunn, who takes his daughter Aryia swimming once a week.
Joanna Burgess, of Brooklyn, said she's just happy the pool stayed open. She takes her son to burn off some energy. Plus, her nephew takes some of the classes and said her sister won't mind the rate increase either.
"Oh not at all. It's so worth it," Burgess said.
Many touted how the pool is used by seniors to exercise.
Bob Koch grew up in Plainfield and said in the late 60s, early 70s he used to swim and take lessons for free. While he doesn’t live here now, he said he doesn't like the fees, but he's glad at least there's still a town pool.
"We were large families. Very few people would have been able to afford to send their kids to swimming lessons at that cost," Koch said. "I think it's just a shame."
The town is still responsible for the cost of repairs. Finance director, Kelly Vachon, said the pool needs a new dehumidifier that costs about $100,000. The town had to take money out of other departments’ budgets to cover the cost.