Vol. LXIV, No. 33
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Members of the Princeton Parks and Recreation Fund explained the development of the fund, as well as its role in garnering money for the construction of the new Community Park Pool Complex, at last weeks Borough Council meeting.
Fund President Peter ONeill said that a conversation with Recreation Director Jack Roberts last September led to brainstorming about an entity to support the capital needs of the Recreation Department. Thus, the Fund was born.
There seems to be a consensus on the need to perform major reconstruction to the pool and replace major infrastructure, Mr. ONeill said. The current facility cannot continue without a replacement.
Emphasizing that they are an independent board, Mr. ONeill noted that those working through the Fund have no input into the design of the pool.
With a goal of fundraising at least $1 million for the new pool complex, the Fund will likely approach local residents and private corporations and donors alike. Mr. ONeill reported that they had already raised $100,000 through internal fundraising and a major gift.
Members of the Fund reasoned that they would not be able to begin their fundraising efforts in earnest until both governing bodies show their support for the pool project by agreeing to set aside the requisite funds.
We are stymied by the perceived lack of commitment from the towns regarding the bond ordinance, Mr. ONeill remarked. Were asking for the opportunity to give you money. The time is right to go ahead with this project.
With the pool renovations expected to total $6.1 million, the Borough, Township, Recreation Board, and Fund will share the cost.
I am not at all sanguine about the likelihood of the funds being raised, said Councilman David Goldfarb.
Mr. ONeill responded that the memorandum of understanding stipulates that the Recreation Department will subsidize the difference in the event of a shortfall, but that no such shortfall is expected. Community Park Pool is a hotspot in town, he said. We are going to get this $1 million.
Our number one priority is the pool. In the circumstance that someone wants to give us money that is not related to the pool, were not going to turn it down, but were not going to solicit for that. Were soliciting for the pool and the pool only until we raise $1 million, Mr. ONeill answered in response to Council questions.
The Fund has a goal of achieving the requisite monies raised by December 31, 2010, though Mr. ONeill told the Borough that we are constrained until the governing bodies approve setting aside the capital funds via their respective bond ordinances such that a commitment to the project is evident.
Councilman Roger Martindell said that he shared the concerns of Mr. Goldfarb, adding that in the event that youre not as successful as everyone expects, there will be a shortfall and the taxpayer would have to underwrite the difference.
The elected officials from the Borough requested that the Funds naming and legacy policy be flagged for further discussion between both municipal bodies and fund representatives.
Resident Jo Butler drew a comparison between the pool fundraising and the monies garnered for the Public Library, highlighting the contribution to the capital project as well as the creation of an endowment. We have to try for more than a million dollars. It is possible to do more than one thing at a time.
Discussions are ongoing.
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