Englishtown asked to help pay for recreation waivers


MANALAPAN – The Manalapan summer recreation program will no longer pick up the cost of economic waivers for children from Englishtown who cannot pay the $500 registration fee.

Manalapan is asking Englishtown to cover the costs for children from that town who cannot pay to participate in the summer program.

Manalapan officials are still waiting to hear back from Englishtown representatives on a letter that was sent to the Englishtown Borough Council regarding economic waivers for the 2008 summer recreation program, according to Mayor Michelle Roth.

Roth was discussing the recent reorganization of the Manalapan Recreation Advisory Board when she noted that a letter which had been sent to Englishtown several months ago regarding the attendance of Englishtown youths at Manalapan’s summer recreation program has gone unanswered.

Roth said it is only fair to expect Englishtown to contribute something toward the summer recreation program expenses.

“We welcome everyone into our summer program, however, the only waivers we will be continuing to consider will be for Manalapan residents. It’s not fair to Manalapan taxpayers and really is the responsibility of the Englishtown Borough Council” to provide payment for Englishtown children who cannot afford to pay for the recreation program, she said, adding, “We are anxiously awaiting a response from Englishtown.”

In October, advisory board member Glenn Essner, in an effort to improve revenue and cut costs for the summer recreation program, suggested that Englishtown start paying into the summer recreation pot for children from that town who attend Manalapan’s summer recreation program.

Englishtown Councilwoman Lori Cooke is the borough’s recreation liaison. When contacted by the News Transcript in October, Cooke said she would not comment because no one but a reporter had brought the matter up to her.

Contacted last week, Cooke said she was not aware a letter had been sent from Manalapan to Englishtown about the situation. She said she would have to check with Englishtown’s administrator before commenting on whether Englishtown could or would pay to help sustain the use of Manalapan’s summer recreation program by Englishtown residents.

Cooke said the matter has never been brought up for discussion among Englishtown council members.

According to a fiscal summary that was distributed to Manalapan Recreation Advisory Board members in October, the summer recreation program spent $168,532 on trips and had revenues of $153,442 at the close of the 2007 program.

A discussion at the October advisory board meeting disclosed that many of the 80 children who were enrolled in the 2007 summer recreation program on an economic waiver because of income constraints were Englishtown residents.

Income guidelines established by the federal government are used to establish a child’s eligibility for an economic waiver.

Essner’s assertion that Englishtown should start paying a share of the costs of the summer recreation program was agreed upon by the other members of the board and so, Roth said, a letter was sent to ask Englishtown representatives to contact Manalapan officials in order to address the issue.

She said that as of this time there has been no response from any Englishtown official.