Minimum Age for RiverWinds Senior Membership Could Increase
With the prospect of increasing revenue for the community center, the township committee debates raising the senior membership age from 55-years-old to 62-years-old.
Talks of upping the age for a RiverWinds senior membership may have some West Deptford residents waiting a bit longer for a discounted rate. Deputy Mayor Sean Kilpatrick discussed several ideas with the township committee Thursday night, in regard to amending the qualifying age for a senior membership at RiverWinds Community Center.
With no resolution adopted yet, Kilpatrick asked the committee to discuss four different options for senior membership, the first two coming from the RiverWinds Advisory Board and the other two a product of discussions between he and RiverWinds Board Chair Jeff Hansen.
The first of the ideas would be to raise the senior membership age to 62-years-old across the board, with all those who are now 55-years-old as of now being grandfathered in as long as they are currently a member of the RiverWinds. The second idea being that the senior membership age be upped to 62-years-old for non-residents and remain at 55-years-old for residents.
In addition, ideas stemming from talks between Kilpatrick and Hansen also included keeping the senior membership age 55-years-old for those living in the RiverWinds development or also just keeping the status quo.
“I figure I’d just bring up all the proposals discussed,” said Kilpatrick following the township committee meeting. “ No idea is a bad idea.”
Committeewoman Denice DiCarlo conferred with solicitor Lilia Londar— standing in for Anthony Ogozalek—on the legal implications of amending the policy, specifically if the township committee set one age for one group of members and another age for the rest. Londar explained that while changing the age across the board would not been seen as discriminatory, “cherry-picking”—as DiCarlo phrased it—could potentially be viewed in such a way.
Kilpatrick explained the ideas proposed by the RiverWinds Advisory Board are just a step in the board’s goals to increase revenue for the community center.
Hansen also weighed in during discussion explaining that upping the age would increase revenue for RiverWinds with an estimated 1, 036 members not yet 55-years-old. In addition, Hansen explained that raising the age to 62-years-old would bring in an extra seven years of revenue the community center would otherwise not have, but had no exact figures making it hard to say just how much.
Committeeman Samuel Cianfarini also proposed the idea of advertising the change in senior age membership a month or two in advance, giving those who are 55-years-old and older a chance to sign up in order to be grandfathered in to the old policy. RiverWinds manager Greg Black acknowledged that a grace period such as the one proposed would provide time to work out any of the issues that may arise during the switchover.
DiCarlo also raised concerns about a potential change in policy, since RiverWinds was built as a part of a 55 and older community.
Even though the age of senior membership would be upped, Hansen explained that the potential change to policy would not affect the senior center, which would remain open to those 55 and older.
“That’s only one piece of RiverWinds,” replied DiCarlo, going onto say that the nearby RiverCove condominium development does not have its own gym.
Concluding the discussion, Kilpatrick stated that more analysis would have to be conducted in order to explore the different options and also to look at different examples of how the grandfather rule would be applied, in order to eliminate potential gray areas brought by the change in policy.
“I would like to develop this and have it before the committee at next work session,” said Cianfarini, encouraging the proposal to be fleshed out in order to be brought to the table.
According to the RiverWinds website, the cost for an annual senior membership for a resident is $93.50, and $156.00 for two seniors with the same address—if paid in full. More than twice the amount of a senior membership, the price for an adult resident membership paid in full is $237.00 for the year and $474.00 for a family, which includes two adults and two children.