Ogdensburg swim team needs out-of-towners, manager says

Ogdensburg. The Ogdensburg Otters relies on swimmers and parent volunteers from outside the borough if they want to compete. Residents may swim laps in the Heater’s Pond lanes when the team isn’t using them.

04 Aug 2020 | 02:44

A local swim team needs swimmers who live outside of Ogdensburg to meet the 20-member requirement for competition, a factor the borough council is taking into account as it rewrites the ordinance on Heater’s Pond.

The council had asked the Ogdensburg Recreational Association (ORA) for input as it considers opening up the pond to both residential and non-residential use.

Michelle Nardini, manager of the Ogdensburg Otters, told the council at its July 27 meeting that only 14 borough residents were part of the official swim team this year, not counting the pre-team. Families and parent volunteers who live outside of Ogdensburg are also essential to the success of the swim team and ORA, she said.

Nardini asked the council to make life easier for parents by allowing younger children to go into the water while waiting for siblings.

Mayor George Hutnick said that, in response to a letter from the ORA expressing its views, the borough will allow the association to use a speaker system, purchased through the Friends of Heater’s Pond and Drug Alliance, for swimming events. The ORA already uses the snack shack and will use lifeguards, he said, as long as they coordinate with the head of Parks and Recreation. He said they will need to discuss the other points in the letter to come to a clear mutual understanding.

Nardini said borough residents may use the ORA lanes at Heater’s Pond to swim laps when the swim team does not need them.

In other business:
Rallies and protests ordinance: Mayor Hutnick said the borough will require the organizers of rallies and protests to provide plans and obtain a permit. These measures will protect both First Amendment rights and the borough, he said. Borough attorney Robert McBriar said the borough has an interest in maintaining safety and traffic control while not infringing on the right to free speech. He said the goal is to explore options that will allow a healthy balance.
Body modification ordinance: Mayor Hutnick said the council will develop an ordinance on body modification – tattoos, body art, and piercing – because of an expanded business/new business request. The ordinance will accommodate separate state licensing and certification, and that health inspections will be handled by the county. Furthermore, he said, the borough needs to be able to accept that type of business. Attorney McBriar said the New Jersey standard code establishes sanitation, sterilization, and safety regulations, so that business owners understand the requirements. A business that applies through the borough will be given a license, charged fees, and inspected, he said.
Predmore Road: After 18 years, “We are actually making progress” on Predmore Road, Hutnick said. The borough has the $180,000 needed for replacing spillways, engineering costs, and permits, without loans or grants. Currently, $315,000 is available in the wastewater fund, which is designated for that purpose. The borough will begin work, he said.
Recycling center: Mayor George Hutnick thanked everyone for running the Recycling Center until he can hire an employee. He said he is looking for someone in the adult range with a certain level of experience. In the meantime, he will continue reaching out for council participation.
Safety shields: Hutnick said the safety shields in Borough Hall will be installed, and they are arriving in the next couple of weeks.
Heater’s Pond monument: Councilwoman Brenda O’Dell spoke of possible electric work toward the Heater’s Pond monument. The electric contractor will provide a plan and proposal for further discussion.
Surplus: Council President Michael Nardini expressed caution about $13,000 left in the streets and roads line item of the budget and warned not to use the money for other items, in case of surprises.
Ogdensburg Day: Although Ogdensburg Day is canceled this year, a fireworks show may be possible. Hutnick will talk to a potential sponsor and fireworks company.
Police ordinance: The council approved an ordinance amending and supplementing the police ordinance. Councilmembers John Cruz and Anthony Nasisi were absent.