Category Archives: Swim Club

It’s Your Town – Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 2-1/17/12

Here is another edition of the It’s Your Town newsletter, it covers the January 17th, 2012 Middletown Township Committee meeting. As readers of the blog know from listening to audio clips posted last week, this meeting was very eventful.

A a late notice stating that the Township will not open the Swim & Tennis Club this year was posted to the Township’s website on Friday 13th, heading into the long Martin Luther King 3-day holiday weekend and apparently, from the sentiment of the members present at the meeting, they weren’t informed previously of the dire financial situation of the Swim Club, over two dozen people voiced their concerns to the Township Committee.

There were a few Swim Club members who questioned the expenses incurred by the Township on behalf of the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) in relation to those incurred to operate the Swim Club. They were told by Mayor Fiore and Township Attorney Brian Nelson, that the MAC was on the way towards profitability and that the utility expenses were down dramatically to only $30 to $40K per year! Attached to the newsletter are the actual figures for the past five years so you can determine for yourself what is accurate.

Regardless, when the Club closes, all Middletown residents will be responsible for repaying the original bond used to purchase the Club instead of the member fees stated in the Pool Club ordinance.

Read this edition of the newsletter ….Here

And if you would like to listen to the companion audio clips from the meeting, I have them below

Committee comments #1
Committee comments #2
What about the kids?
Tom Wilkens comments

As always, if you wish to subscribe to the newsletter and receive in your inbox send a request to

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Filed under Audio clips, Brian Nelson, Its Your Town, Martin Luther King Jr., Middletown Arts Center, Middletown Township Committee, Newsletter, Swim Club, Tony Fiore

More Audio From Tuesday Night’s Township Committee Meeting; Swim Club Members Want Answers

Here is some more audio from Tuesday night’s public comments portion of the Middletown Township Committee meeting where members of the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club spoke in front of the Township Committee and wanted answers as to why they were never informed by the Township that the Club was losing money and that it will be closed this year.

Notice once again Township Attorney Brian Nelson answering questions for the Township Committee at ~6:30 into the clip and again towards the end of this 13 minute sound bite. Why does the Township Attorney need to answer financial questions about the Swim Club and not the Township Administrator, Township CFO or the elected officials that sit on the dais? Listen towards the end where he repeatedly states “we…,we…, we…”. It’s infuriating.

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Filed under Audio clips, Brian Nelson, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, Swim Club

Swim Club Won’t Be Operated By Township In 2012

Rumors have been circulating for a number of weeks now concerning the future of the Middletown Swim Club.

Some have said that the Swim Club was in the process of being sold to a developer who would be building townhouse on site and another said that the Swim Club was to be leased to a third party that would install an olympic sized swimming pool and an ice rink. No rumor that I am aware of mentioned that the facility would be closed completely for 2012.

Notice however, the small glimmer of hope offered by Township Aministrator Tony Mercantante, who stated in the press release that, “We are, however, looking at options that would allow the club to re-open with a different operator…”, which seem to confirm the one of the rumors listed above.

Below is the announcement posted on the Middletown Township website concerning the closing of the Middletown Swim Club:

The Middletown Swim and Tennis Club will not be operated by the Township in 2012 as program fees have not covered its operating budget in recent years. Accordingly, Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante is recommending that the facility remain closed for the 2012 season, unless another entity can soon be identified to operate the club.

“Unfortunately, rising costs, declining membership, declining revenues, an aging facility, and staff reductions mean that it is no longer economically viable for the Township to continue to operate the facility,” Mercantante said. “The Township has been obligated to cover revenue shortfalls from its regular operating budget,” Mercantante explained, “and it cannot afford to do so any longer.”

“It is unrealistic to expect the Township Committee to ask taxpayers to help support a membership-driven facility, hoping that it will become self-sustaining again,” Mayor Tony Fiore continued.

The Township purchased the 10-acre aquatic facility from a private owner in 1997 for $1.225 million. The facility, located at the corner of Harmony and Old Country Road, has 4 swimming pools, 55 cabanas, 330 bathhouses, five tennis courts, a playground, snack bar and basketball, shuffleboard, bocce and handball courts.

The club, which is funded through membership and program fees, is managed through a utility that allows the facility to operate outside of the municipal budget. Revenues were to cover the purchase, operating costs and improvements. In the early years, the club largely paid for itself as anticipated. Since the national recession began in 2008, membership has declined and revenues are not covering operating and debt costs.

“No decision has been reached as to what to do with the facility in the long-term,” Mercantante said.

He added that the facility’s age is another factor in its fate. The club, which is more than 50 years old, will continue to need repairs and capital upgrades in the years to come. There are not sufficient revenues to support major improvement projects, Mercantante said.

“We realize that if the club does not open it will be a sad day for many families in the Township. We also realize it will be disruptive to some people’s summer plans, but the Township cannot afford to run the club in the red for another season,” Mercantante said. “We are, however, looking at options that would allow the club to re-open with a different operator and we are also looking at options to allow the main pool to be opened so that the award-winning swim team can stay together for another season,” he said.

“During these tough economic times everything must always be on the table. The decision not operate the swim club is one that we take very seriously. However, our obligation to provide core and essential governmental services cannot be compromised,” Mayor Fiore said.

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Filed under Middletown NJ, Middletown Township Committee, press release, Swim Club, Tony Fiore, Tony Mercantante

Taxpayers First ??? Not in “Your Middletown”

by guest blogger Linda Baum

If you’ve been driving anywhere in Middletown, you can’t miss the big red and white signs that claim Mayor Fiore puts “taxpayers first”. That’s been the line for years now. That the Republican majority continues to use it shows their arrogance. Sadly, they have managed to keep so many of us in the dark.

I suppose they should feel confident. Remember last year when our Republican-controlled Town Committee left you with the impression that a 13.4% municipal tax increase was just 2.8%? They had at their disposal all sources of communication coming out of Town Hall – the town’s own newspaper, press releases, robocalls, and a tax information sheet all delivered straight to your home and paid for with your tax dollars. You were probably scratching your head back then. And I bet, like me, for a while you were uncertain of your own basic math skills. And that was the idea – not to inform, but to mislead. That is not how you serve taxpayers. What they did was deliberate and dishonest, and completely self-serving.

The Republican party’s control over information in Middletown has gone on for years. If you have ever asked a question at a Town Committee meeting, you may have experienced that first hand, and it has never been more true than it is now that an all-Republican committee sits on the dais.

Residents have just two opportunities each month – the first and third Monday — to connect with our representatives, but they don’t seem to want to talk to us. If you’ve been brave enough to stand at the microphone and ask nearly anything, you’ve most likely been made to feel like an annoyance. You’ve got just five minutes – that’s the rule. Use it or lose it, and no second chances after you sit down. If you aren’t satisfied with the answer you get, they may invite you to stay after the meeting when no one else is there to hear them. Or you can always try again at the next town meeting, if you don’t mind being scolded for being repetitive. I was, and my question went unanswered to boot.

It would be downright comical if it weren’t true. If you don’t believe me, then grab your popcorn and come down to Town Hall. You’ll have to catch the live show because town meetings aren’t televised in Middletown like they are in so many other towns. That’s for lack of funds, supposedly, but let’s see what the story is in 2014 when $200,000 in grant money becomes available from Comcast specifically for that purpose. What excuse will our Republican majority give then for continuing to keep us in the dark?

You won’t find much information about what was discussed at meetings in the Town’s meeting minutes, either. If you really want to know what happened, read “It’s Your Town Hall”, newsletter that are written by town resident Don Watson, who took it upon himself to attend town meetings and to keep others informed about what’s going on. If you want to be included in his distribution, send an email to

If taxpayers were really first, governmental proceedings would be accessible to all residents no matter what their schedule or ability to attend meetings, including those who are disabled or have limited mobility. And by the way, those folks are still waiting for the Township to fully comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Money is lacking, town officials say, among other reasons given for delays. However, since that law was enacted, our republican-controlled town committee has poured money into a host of costly unnecessary projects when better less-costly alternatives existed – the Pool Club and Arts Center are examples. Taxpayers are not only paying the debt for these purchases, but hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual upkeep as well.

And did you know that the town’s appointed engineer – the same firm now for 40 years –pockets about $1 million dollars a year in taxpayer funds awarded to them as no-bid contracts? Think how much tax relief could have been provided by putting those engineering contracts out to competitive bid. That’s money that could have been returned to you or used for other purposes. If taxpayers were really first, our republican majority would have done just that. Instead, members of that same engineering firm can be seen celebrating with republican candidates every year on election night. If it sounds like pay to play, that’s because it is. And you’re paying for it.

Somebody is first in Middletown, but not taxpayers. Not in a very long time. On November 8th, you can change that.

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Filed under americas with disabilities act, Arts Center, Middletown NJ, municipal tax rates, Robo-calls, Swim Club, tax increase, tax payers first

Middletown News Flash 8-5-11

Middletown Swim Club Half-Season Memberships On Sale Aug 1-15
There’s still time to get in on the fun at the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club. Half-season bathhouse memberships will be available for sale August 1-15.

Half-season passes are valid from August 1st through September 5. The cost is $150 for adults, $120 for children ages 4-17, $60 for children ages 2-3 and $120 for seniors. Those without a 2011 membership are eligible to purchase a half-season pass. No adjustments will be made to any 2011 memberships.

The Middletown Swim and Tennis Club is located at 214 Harmony Road. The club has over 10 acres of picnic and play areas. Amenities include 4 swimming pools, 5 tennis courts, bathhouses, a snack bar, volley ball, horseshoe and shuffleboard. Activities include family and teen fun nights, competitive swim teams, and sports tournaments. Call 732-671-5757.  Applications available at


Middletown Remembers 9-11-01
In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of September 11th, Middletown Township is planning a trio of tributes to honor those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center tragedy.

“Thanks to the support from the community, Middletown will honor the 37 residents we lost during the tragedy with a memorial service, a flag display and a juried art exhibit,” said Mayor Anthony P. Fiore

The Township will hold the memorial service on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the Middletown World Trade Center Memorial Gardens. Among those who have agreed to participate are local religious and government leaders, veterans’ organizations, emergency responders, girl scouts and boy scouts. The service will include a candle lighting ceremony, said Mayor Anthony P. Fiore, who heads the September 11th Memorial Planning Committee.

General parking will be available the main train station lot and the Satellite Lot at Sears, located at the corner of Kings Highway and Route 35. A shuttle bus will transport attendees between Sears and the gardens. The service will be held rain or shine.

Prior to the memorial service a flag display will be installed to honor the 37 residents who died on September 11, 2001.  Flag banners will be posted on telephone poles along Kings Highway, Church Street and Middletown-Lincroft Road.

“The flag display is sponsored by local businesses, organizations and individuals who answered the township’s call to help fund this fitting tribute,” said Mayor Fiore. “The flags will continue to be used after the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy as a reminder that Middletown remains vigilant in its support of the War on Terror.”

 The cost of each flag banner is $250. Businesses, groups and individuals who sponsor the cost of at least one flag will be recognized in the program materials, on the township website – – and on the township television station. The station is viewable on Comcast Channel 20 and Verizon FiOs Channel 26. Donations are tax-deductible. Call 732-615-2024 for more information.

Meanwhile, the Middletown Arts Center has put out a call to area artists to submit artwork for juried art exhibit honoring September 11th.  The exhibit, A Community Connected…to Each Other, to Healing, to Hope will be on display from August 25th through September 25th.  An Opening Reception will be held on Thursday, August 25th from 7-9 p.m. Call 732-706-4100 or visit for details on how to submit artwork.


Pavilion Accepting Senior Housing Applications
The Pavilion at Luftman Towers, 43 Hurleys Lane is accepting applications for affordable one-bedroom apartments. Call 732-936-0500 for more information. Preference is given to Middletown residents and children/parents of Middletown Residents.  

Eligibility Requirements        

  • 62 years of age or older        
  • Minimum annual gross income – $18,500        
  • Maximum Income One Person – $38,040       
  • Maximum Income Two Persons – $43,440 

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Filed under 9/11, Middletown Arts Center, Middletown NJ, newsflash, Swim Club

Mtown News Flash 7-29-11

Middletown Police Offer Child Safety Seat Checkpoint July 30

The Middletown Police Department Traffic Safety Bureau will offer a Child Safety Seat Checkpoint on Saturday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Police Headquarters, 1 Kings Highway. Police officers trained as child passenger safety technicians will be available to assist motorists with proper child safety seat installation as well as proper positioning and harnessing of a child. Free and open to the public. No appointment necessary. In the event of severe weather, rain dates will be announced. The program is funded through a grant from the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety.  Call 732-615-2045 for more information.


Middletown Swim Club Half-Season Memberships On Sale Aug 1-15
There’s still time to get in on the fun at the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club. Half-season bathhouse memberships will be available for sale August 1-15. Half-season passes are valid from August 1st through September 5. The cost is $150 for adults, $120 for children ages 4-17, $60 for children ages 2-3 and $120 for seniors. Those without a 2011 membership are eligible to purchase a half-season pass. No adjustments will be made to any 2011 memberships.

The Middletown Swim and Tennis Club is located at 214 Harmony Road. The club has over 10 acres of picnic and play areas. Amenities include 4 swimming pools, 5 tennis courts, bathhouses, a snack bar, volley ball, horseshoe and shuffleboard. Activities include family and teen fun nights, competitive swim teams, and sports tournaments. Call 732-671-5757.   Click here for application 


Mahoney Brothers Perform Thurs, Aug 4 at Normandy Park
Don’t miss the final installment of the 2011 Summer Concert Series. The Mahoney Brothers will bring their impersonations of modern music greats to Middletown with their Jukebox Heroes Show on August 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Normandy Park. Comcast Cable is sponsoring the performance.  In the event of inclement weather the concerts are moved to Middletown South High School.  Limited on-site parking. For more information, contact Parks & Recreation Office Monday-Friday at 732-615-2260.

In addition, the Arts Center is offering a concert series for families every Thursday through August 25th.  Cool Kids Concerts with Miss Sherri, Thursdays, 4 – 5 p.m., are open to children ages 1-10 and their parents. The Middletown Arts Center and Miss Sherri, nationally known award winning Kindie Rocker/Singer, songwriter and founder of Honey Child Music Academy invite families to beat the heat and boogie down during the totally interactive shows. Admission is $5. Call 732-706-4100 for more information.


Grace Period Extended to August 24 for 3rd Quarter Tax Bill
Final 2011/Preliminary 2012 tax bills will be mailed Friday, July 29, 2011. The delay was to due by the State in certifying municipal state aid figures.  As a result of the delay, the grace period has been extended to August 24, 2011.  To avoid interest charges please make all payments by 4:00 PM, August 24, 2011. The last day for payment without interest is also printed on the tax bills.


Fall Brush Collection Suspended  
The fall brush collection is suspended. Brush can be brought to the Kanes Lane Recycling Center from Thursday through Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is no charge for residents to drop off brush. The fee for landscapers is $10 per yard. Please note residents will be required to remove any piles of brush that are on the roadway adjacent to their property. The next brush collection will be scheduled for Spring 2012.

Fall Leaf Collection will be scheduled as usual. The leaf collection schedule will be announced in October.


Police Investigating Hit & Run
The Middletown Township Police Department is investigating a pedestrian hit and run crash that occurred on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at approximately 10 p.m.  The crash occurred on State Highway 35 South between Navesink River Road and Coopers Bridge. A preliminary investigation revealed that the victim, a 26 year old male from Red Bank was walking near the intersection of Highway 35 South and Lakeshore Drive when he was struck by a southbound vehicle. After striking the victim the vehicle continued south on Highway 35 into Red Bank. The victim was treated at the scene and transferred to Jersey Shore Trauma Center for treatment where he is currently listed in critical condition. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or can provide any information pertaining to the crash is asked to please contact the Traffic and Safety Bureau at 732-615-2043. The crash is being investigated by Traffic Officers Cpl. Cliff O’Hara and Patrolman Darrin Simon


A Community Connected…
to Each Other, to Healing, to Hope Juried Art Exhibition Honoring 9-11

All entries must be received on Wednesday,  August 17th or Thursday,  August, 18th, from 4-9 p.m.

The Middletown Arts Center (MAC) announces an invitation to artists (over 18) to submit work in all media to A Community Connected…to Each Other, to Healing, to Hope Juried Art Exhibition Honoring 9-11. Artwork content should convey patriotism, hope, connectedness or growth in the wake of the historical World Trade Center tragedy and not include graphic imagery. 

All entries must be received on Wednesday,  August 17th or Thursday,  August, 18th, from 4-9 p.m. to be selected by the Middletown Arts Center 9-11 Exhibit Committee.  An entry fee of $5 per submission is required to cover exhibition costs. Multiple submissions are encouraged. Works to be hung must be display ready, suitably framed and wired for hanging. Entries improperly prepared for hanging will not be accepted. Pick-up of unaccepted work will take place on Monday,  August 22nd from 4-9 p.m.  Artists are invited to submit a brief biography and promotional items along with their work.

All work must remain on display for the duration of the exhibition from Thursday,  August 25th through Sunday, September 25th and be picked up on Monday, September 26th or Tuesday, September 27th from 7 a.m-9 p.m.  Visit or call 732-706-4100 for an entry form.


Volunteers Needed for Middletown Domestic Violence Response Team
Middletown Township Police Department is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on the Middletown Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT). In affiliation with 180 Turning Lives Around (180), and with the assistance of the response team volunteers, Middletown Township Police Department continues to make available this service to victims of domestic violence. Applications are available now and interviews will begin shortly.

The volunteer advocates with 180’s DVRT program are civilian members of the community who work in collaboration with the police to provide crisis intervention and safety planning to victims of domestic violence at police headquarters.  The specially-trained advocates also discuss with the victim their legal rights in regard to obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order. The volunteer advocates help to empower victims to make decisions about their own lives. The identities of the DVRT volunteers are kept anonymous. The 40-hour intensive, mandatory training course will be provided to successful applicants at no cost. 180 will be conducting the next four-week training October 24th – November 16th, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, 6:00p-9:30p, in the courtroom at Tinton Falls Borough Hall, 556 Tinton Avenue. Prior knowledge of domestic violence is not required. The services of the Middletown Domestic Violence Response Team are available to victims, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week at Middletown Township Police Department headquarters, 1 Kings Highway, Middletown NJ 07748

Basic requirements for volunteers to apply include that applicants must be 18 years of age or older, have access to transportation, possess a valid driver’s license, be willing to serve on an on-call shift basis, participate in an interview process, submit to background investigations and fingerprinting, and successfully complete the mandatory training.  Middletown Township Police Department and 180 Turning Lives Around are committed to culturally diverse teams to better serve the community. Bi-lingual capability is helpful.  Please contact Sgt. Bill Colangelo, Middletown Police DVRT DVLO, at 732 615-2041 or email to obtain an application or for additional information.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or sexual violence, you can call the 180 Turning Lives Around Confidential Hotline at 732 264-4111, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. For more information, visit In an emergency, dial 911.


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Filed under brush and leaf pickup, checkpoints, domestic violence, Middletown Arts Center, Middletown NJ, newsflash, Swim Club, Volunteers

Hazlet Democrats: Promises Made-Promises Kept

Fellow Hazlet Residents,

As Hazlet’s Democratic Municipal Chairman I would like to update you on the many fine things Mayor James DiNardo and the Democratic Committee have been doing for Hazlet. With the addition of Joe Marques this year they are energized, motivated, and hard working. Their main focus is to improve the quality of life for Hazlet residents by upgrading the Hazlet park system and adding recreational opportunities for our children while reducing municipal taxes. It has been a long timesince Hazlet has had a committee accomplishing this much.

The Democrats promised to keep the residents informed about what is going on in the township. A quarterly newsletter, The Hazlet Happenings, now reaches every home.

The Democratic Committee has been hard at work at controlling costs with shared service initiatives and cost control measures. Saving well over $460,000 so far. In August the Hazlet Sewerage Authority was closed saving over $200,000 a year. The Health Department has been outsourced to Monmouth County saving over $260,000 a year. The Township’s recycling program was streamlined saving more than $65,000 a year.

This year Mayor DiNardo and the Democratic Committee secured over $488,000 in grants for Hazlet. This is a significant increase over previous years. These Grants covered Green Acres (Skateboard Park, Boardwalk around pond, Dredging the pond, Gazebos, etc.), DOT (Aggressive Road improvements-first time in years!), and Smart Planning. Efforts to improve the Roller Hockey Rink in Veteran’s Park have been completed. Hockey Leagues will be starting up in the spring for all those interested. For the second year the Hazlet Swim Club is turning a profit.

For 2009, Mayor DiNardo and the Democratic Committee are pursuing plans for an Amphitheatre, a New Bridge for Veteran’s Park, Expanding the Veteran’s Park Zoo, and a New Pavilion. Other projects under consideration for 2009 include acquiring the Captain’s Cove Marina on Laurel Ave. This property is being considered for a small park and public boat launch. Plans are underway at 319 Middle Road (old Town Hall site) to convert this property to a small park. A walking trail will be installed around the perimeter of the property as well as several basketball courts. The existing basketball courts at Middle Road School will be converted to additional parking.

Mayor DiNardo and the Democratic Committee are looking to the future with an eye on long term planning and cost reductions.

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to come out and VOTE this coming Tuesday, November 4th. (Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.) This is a very important election for our country, our county, and our town.

Promises Made-Promises Kept


Andrew F. Bace
Democratic Municipal Chairman

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Filed under Andy Bace, Cost Savings, Democrats, Hazelt Happenings, Hazlet NJ, Jim DiNardo, Parks System, Promises Made-Promises Kept, Swim Club