Town to eliminate fees on pool for all
Even non-residents will swim for free
NEW IPSWICH — Next year, the New Ipswich Town Pool will be free to the public for open swim, the Select Board decided unanimously during its Tuesday meeting.
When the pool was first built, it was built through federal funds, explained Town Administrator Roberta Fraser when the issue was first raised on Oct. 15. At that time, the funds came with the stipulation that the pool remain free to use for everyone, both residents and out-of-town users. Last week, Select Board member Mike Conlin asked how the town had begun charging for use of the pool if that stipulation was in place. When the change was made, said Fraser, there was a feeling that because not all residents made use of the pool, the board should implement fees so the pool was more self-sustaining. The difference in cost was about $12,000, she said. This week, Conlin moved that the board do away with the fees for open swim.
“I’ve had a chance to ask the public, and overwhelmingly everyone I talked to is in favor of making the pool free,” he said. He added that extras such as swim team or swimming lessons should retain their current costs. At first, Conlin suggested eliminating the fees for only New Ipswich residents, but after discussion, the board decided to include out-of-town users as well.
Last week, resident Dave Cotzin told the board he approved of getting rid of the fees, saying that his children had grown up going to the pool often. Now retired, and his children grown, he said he wouldn’t mind paying a few extra pennies on his tax bill to provide the same experience for the current generation. “Not everyone can afford to pay to use the pool,” he said. Fraser added that in the past, the town has made allowances for residents who have claimed need, although the town does not have an official policy or program in place.