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POLL: Pleased with Swim Club Plan?

The lease to buy arrangement for the club will wipe out township debt on the property and bring year-round sports, including hockey. Do you like the vision?

So, the is no longer under water.

It will stay afloat with the help of its , the NJ Junior Titans ice hockey non-profit group, which take over the management reins and run the club as is this summer — no change in rates or schedules.

Principal of the Titans, George Haviland, is also a Middletown man. He knows the community and its wants and needs just as he knows sports, officials and residents boasted.

Haviland plans to convert the 8.9-acre property into more than a swim club — more like primarily a swim and skate club. Once the Titans owns it, it will, in fact, become Ice World Middletown.

According to officials, Haviland’s group is talking about not only adding an ice rink, for hockey and just plain skating, but for other indoor sports and, perhaps, heated and/or indoor pools.

The ideas and knowing Haviland was at the helm, pleased club members beyond expectation.

Yes, assured Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante, the club will still focus on swimming, despite the pending name change and ice hockey tie-in with the group’s name and focus.

Residents who spoke at last night’s Township Committee meeting, when the plans were announced, raved about the save and proposed revision of the site.

Officials said the whole arrangement “exceeded all expectations.”

The lease with an option to buy deal will cure any and all debt the township has on the club. The only drawback, “if you could call it that,” said Mayor Tony Fiore to a resident last night, is that the lease/purchase will not provide any tax relief/reduction.

If the township wanted to sell the property for any purpose that accommodates current zoning restrictions, the property may sell for a lot more than the $1.37 million will realize with the sale and cure its debt.

But leaving out the deed restriction for recreational use only would put taxpayers in the position of perhaps fighting an unwanted commercial development on the site. It’s what happened when the township originally opted to buy the club from a private owner in 1997 — it was a means of staving off a Home Depot on the site.

So, the township will be swim club debt-free and the club and other recreation will be hosted on the site year-round.

So, do you like the plan? Let us know in the poll below. If you have anything to add or any other suggestions for the Titans, tell us about them in the comment box.

Anna Heller April 06, 2012 at 04:50 PM
All great news very exciting and much needed by the Township. The only problem we have is like 300 other Middletown families who were told for the 5 months that Middletown Club would not open we joined Hazlet Club who offered their resident rate until March 1st. So now what do we all do?? If we knew there was a chance Middletown was opening to open we would have waiting. Have fun at Middltown maybe we will see you next summer.
barbara April 06, 2012 at 08:49 PM
When is the destruction of the tennis courts set to begin? I was disappointed to hear we would not be able to use them this summer - especially since at the meeting it was stated that everything at the pool club would be the same as last year. From children to adults taking tennis lessons, to the tennis team (who competed against other clubs), to the general use of the courts- they will be missed by many.. The tennis coaches in the area will miss them also. This season North, South, SJV andCBA all have MSTC alumni playing on their teams. The friendships and memories from the courts will last forever. BC
Sandy April 07, 2012 at 02:25 PM
There seems to be no POC to learn more information about the Swim Club, all that is posted is the fee schedule. Are we supposed to just give them money not knowing when they will open part-time/full-time or what the club hours will be?
Maureen April 08, 2012 at 11:09 AM
I grew up just off Harmony Rd. It was busy then. Why would you purchase a house on Harmony Rd. if you did not expect the traffic pattern. The pool club was there long before you moved here. How is it the fault of Middletown politicians that you purchased your home in a high traffic area? When my husband and I bought our house we looked at all aspects of the surrounding area, asked questions about neighboring properties and what their land use might be. It is the largest purchase one makes.
Donna Blaze April 21, 2012 at 01:44 AM
There is no law that guarantees a nonprofit is tax exempt in all it's activities. As a matter of fact they have to apply for exemption under specific conditions for each property they own. The county can also over turn an exemption granted to a nonprofit who is participating in market activities.

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