Seven Fields will open its pool to nonresidents in an effort to make it economically viable during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a life preserver designed to stem the likelihood of closing it for the season.
In a two-hour meeting Monday, borough council decided that the pool — which has attracted fewer than 100 guests every operating day since its delayed July 3 opening — should accept residents from surrounding areas, in addition to those from within the borough.
The decision was not voted upon, as the resolution that opened the pool gave the borough power to make any operating changes as needed.
Council President Kimberly Regan-Koch said she drove by the pool last week and thought it was closed because there were so few people there.
“We're just bleeding, horribly, with this this year,” she said about operating funds.
Council had originally debated closing the pool for the season, as on many days fewer than 80 residents showed up to swim.
“Based on those numbers, the attendance numbers, we're not really disappointing too many people if we do shut it down,” she said.
The pool, which has consistently been a source of deficit for the borough, was losing about $300 each day it was open, Regan-Koch estimated. Even though a deficit had become acceptable to council, that level of hemorrhaging led to some internal debate.
“The pool is an amenity. It's a luxury,” borough manager Tom Smith said. “It's something that is not a necessity.”
The decision to open it to nonresidents was due to a belief the pool could always close down if it continued bleeding money, but would be unlikely to open back up. Smith said council does not have to reconvene to decide to close the pool due to the resolution that reopened it for 2020.