Marlboro Recreation Merges With Swim Utility
The township's goal is to make the Recreation program self-sustainable.
The Marlboro Town Council approved the merger of the Swim Utility and Recreation Department last week, in an effort to make the department self-sustainable.
The approval at council is only an organizational step, any personnel or financial changes that may take place in the future have not been decided upon.
The department will combine with the Swim Utility, which is currently operating at a profit, and be subject to a line-item audit annually.
Currently, the Recreation Department operates at a $2.6 million budget, with $1.9 million in revenue. Mayor Jon Hornik said taxpayers are contributing $700,000 annually to subsidize the department.
"I believe if only a few people use something, they should pay the cost," Hornik said.
As a utility, the department will be subject to an annual line-item independent audit to determine which programs make financial sense to keep running.
Township Business Administrator Jon Capp said the taxpayer will always subsidize the program to some extent, but the goal is to take a closer look at the operations and significantly lower the burden on the taxpayer.
Capp said recent economic changes have forced the administration to look to police changes that will save taxpayers money and keep the township budget under the two percent cap.
"It's a balancing act," Capp said.
The township will have a Director of Recreation, as it does now, but has advertised openly to fill the position. Township counsel Louis Rainone said the council cannot currently speak about personnel issues, but there are no plans for a "clean sweep" of the Recreation Department.
Councilman Frank LaRocca said the organization change is not a report card for current recreation volunteers and staff.
"We are trying to salvage programs, make them better and demonstrate fiscal responsibility."