Officials discuss Orange Twp. pool opening

By D. Anthony Botkin - [email protected]

During Orange Township’s five-hour trustees meeting April 2, officials discussed the details for the North Orange Park Aquatic Center’s opening on May 22 for the 2018 summer season.

Beth Hugh, maintenance and park director, said she has been looking into RecDesk LLC pool management software for about a year.

“It is a web-based program,” she said. “It is an annual fee, no contract, so we can cancel at any time. We can do online swim lessons, season passes, and we can expand it to do shelter rentals.”

Hugh said Columbus Pool Management, the management company that contracts with the township to manage the North Orange Park Aquatic Center, is familiar with the RecDesk software. She said the software has a point of sales system for concessions, as well as front desk operations and will help with inventory.

“CPM is actually so excited about the potential of us getting RecDesk that they are evaluating right now a reduction in the contract amount in order to utilize this,” Hugh told trustees. “It just saves that much time.”

Hugh said she was asking for a cost reduction of $3,900 from CPM in its contract with the township to offset the cost of the software. She reported the RecDesk software cost is $3,900.

“I’ve not heard back yet,” Hugh said during the trustees meeting. “I think it’s worth at least $3,900 to (CPM) based on the torture we went through last year with paperwork.”

Trustee Debbie Taranto said she has always been for the software.

“I don’t know why we put it off,” she said. “It’s a lot more affordable it seems.”

Hugh said in the past, the township had looked at a $25,000 to $35,000 program called RecTrac as something for the community center if the levy for it had passed.

In the interest of getting personnel trained on the software, Hugh asked trustees to approve the appropriation for the software.

“So, you won’t tell them that we passed this tonight,” said Trustee Lisa Knapp with a giggle. “I’ll just pass it like this and then get what you can out of them. Maybe half or something.”

Trustees approved the $3,900 appropriation for the RecDesk management software. The contract with Columbus Pool Management is $264,794.

The next action taken on the aquatic center involved discussion and possible action regarding a contract and possible authorization of a rebid for a beverage vendor.

Hugh said the township put out a request for bids, but none were placed for the beverage contract.

“I had several conversations with the prosecutor’s office. I also had conversations with the two companies that have done bids in the past. Snapple, who currently had the contract until last Saturday (March 31). They are in a transition phase. They were bought out, and the new people are coming in, so they are on a freeze. And Pepsi said a 2-year contract is not profitable,” she said.

Hugh said the prosecutor’s office suggested having a rebid since the contract was placed out for bid in the first place.

“The change in the bid is a multi-year contract,” she said. “That requirement would be up to them to tell us and then we can choose from various proposals.”

Trustees approved publication of the rebids.

Following an executive session, the trustees discussed pool furniture.

Hugh said she was looking for a direction from the board on three types of furniture.

The three types mentioned by Hugh were Adirondack, sling and strap chairs.

“We don’t feel that the sling chairs are as durable as the strap chairs,” she said. “Strap chairs are what we have in which case we look at adding to the strap chairs we have. I would like some direction from the board.”

Hugh said her recommendation was to stay with the pool furniture the township has because “it’s structurally sound.”

“We’ll continue to clean the ones that are structurally sound and order some additional furniture to match the existing,” she said. “I’d recommend white. If we go with a color, it’s going to fade at different rates and at different times. I don’t think you’re going to get the uniform feel of having all the same furniture.”

“White shows all the dirt and makes them look trashy,” Taranto said.

“What did you say you wanted to suggest?” Knapp asked. “You would recommend sticking with the white? It does blend in with the deck as well.”

Hugh said Orange Township doesn’t do flashy bright colors on any of the playgrounds or in the parks.

“I’m fine with staying with the same thing that we’ve always used,” Knapp said. “We’re not purchasing it are we?”

Hugh said they would be purchasing additional chairs.

“There’s never enough chairs on busy days,” she said. “We could fill the entire area and there wouldn’t be enough chairs on busy days.”

After a while, Taranto said she had to ask a question.

“Do you guys really want to sit here and talk about the price of your hot dogs and whether we want a white chair or a sling chair, or do we trust our directors enough to make those kinds of decisions and make our meeting maybe a little bit shorter?,” she said.

“I put it on the agenda because the board asked to see these,” Hugh said. “In the past, it would come back to why did I make that decision? So, I bring them to the board now.”

Trustee Ryan Rivers responded to Hugh by stating, “I’m fine with what you’ve recommended.”

Trustees took no action on the pool furniture choices.

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.

Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.