I am excited to announce that Verona has secured a grant to upgrade the Verona baby pool to remove barriers so that residents can enjoy the facility. On January 5th Verona was notified that we will receive a $75,000 Local Recreation Improvement Grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Division of Local Government Services. This grant will help us to offset costs to renovate the existing baby pool to add "zero entry" on one side and add a splash pad. These improvements will help us transform the baby pool into a space where disabled residents - both adults and children - can enjoy the pool.
We applied for this grant directly due to my persistent efforts. I saw the grant opportunity and sent it to our Township Manager in April, 2021. After additional follow-up discussions, he then asked our Township Engineering Manager in May to apply for the grant. In order to apply, the Township Council had to have a special meeting to approve the application on May 24, 2021.
I am thrilled that we were able to secure this funding. As residents may recall, the Township Council approved funding of $850,000 for a baby pool renovation in October 2019 . The project was to install a splash pad (e.g., water sprinkler features) to replace the existing playground, a zero-entry handicap accessible baby pool, and new shading and awnings. The original plan was to go out to bid and select a vendor for the work to be completed before the 2020 pool season. We were unsuccessful, however, in finding a vendor that could build the project as it was originally scoped, and then the COVID pandemic and subsequent price increases in construction costs added to the complexity of the project.
With this grant secured, our Township Administration is now working with vendors for a revised bid for this project. Getting this renovation complete is one of my top priorities. Stay tuned for more updates on this project in future Council meetings.