Should Heater’s Pond be used only by Ogdensburg residents?The Ogdensburg Borough Council at its July 13 meeting said yes -- but with a few exceptions. Mayor George Hutnick said volunteers and employees who serve the town should be allowed to use the pond, along with swim team members.
An ordinance loophole allows non-resident Ogdensburg Recreational Association (ORA) members to use the pond, along with the Ogdensburg Fire Department, First Aid Squad, Department of Public Works, and borough employees.
Councilwoman Rachel Slater recommended changing the language to the Ogdensburg Recreation Swim Team. At one time, she said, ORA was only for residents, but now non-residents are needed in order to continue Ogdensburg team sports. Furthermore, she said, they should not overwhelm their two lifeguards.
Hutnick said the borough needs to put a reasonable limit on guest passes. The siblings of out-of-town swim team members may swim before practice if they have guest passes. In addition, he said, the guest badge must be purchased by a legal, property-owning resident who is required to stay at the pond with the guest. The exception to the rule is a party in the pavilion or on the grass, where lifeguard arrangements can be made ahead of time.
Councilwoman Brenda O’Dell said a guest pass form has to be filled out with the resident’s name and address.
Councilman Antony Nasisi the maximum occupancy at the beach will determine a reasonable limit on guest passes. Each lifeguard can legally watch 25 kids, with a total of 50 allowed when there are two lifeguards.
They had all talked about promoting the pond, Nasisi noted. The water quality is the best it has ever been, he said, and the borough has been stocking it with fish.
Borough attorney Robert McBriar said he will receive comments and develop a draft ordinance.
During the public comment session, Mindy Gordon suggested the lifeguards track the number of swimmers they watch on average for the day and determine the weekly average. That way, she said, they’ll be able to determine a guest pass number without guessing.
ORA is trying to help kids develop healthy habits and make the future better for them, Gordon said. ORA is not concerned about who is a resident or not, she said.