Claremont Community Center Exceeds Membership Goals

Claremont — Parks and Recreation Director Scott Haulser told the City Council last night that there are nearly 2,600 members signed up at the community center, which opened March 4.

Hausler said as of yesterday morning the center had sold 1,159 units or memberships, including nearly 570 family passes. The family passes, good for two to four people, represent nearly 2,000 members. Single adult annual passes are at 71 and 418 senior annual passes have been sold. The membership breaks down between 88 percent residents and 12 percent nonresidents.

“We anticipated 689 units in making our projections to meet our annual pass goals,” said Hausler.

There was more good news last night for the center with the acceptance by the council of three grants totaling $23,000. A $13,000 donation from the Landry Family Fund through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation will pay for timing clocks and a scoreboard for the pool; a $5,000 donation, from the Greater Claremont Fund, also through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, will be used for scholarships; and Peabody Electric of Claremont donated $5,000 for electrical and data cables for the center. Hausler said Peabody also installed the wire.

The council thanked the contributors for their generosity.

“They are helping us fulfill a dream we have for the city,” said councilor Vic Bergeron.

Earlier Bergeron said since he has returned from vacation, everywhere he goes he hears nothing but “positive, positive, positive. Most say that it is about time.”

Councilor Chris Irish was happy to admit he was wrong about the center and his doubts about whether the city could support it.

“What you have accomplished is beyond my wildest dreams,” Irish told Hausler. “I was a skeptic but that is because I didn’t have the vision.”

Also last night, former state Rep. Joe Osgood, R-Claremont, asked why the city has not scheduled a special election to replace Democratic state Rep. Tom Donovan, who resigned his seat last month. Osgood said he had someone call the Secretary of State’s office and they were told that Claremont has not formally told the state the city was “down a state rep.” Claremont is represented by four members in the New Hampshire House.

City Manager Guy Santagate said calls have been made, but Osgood said that is not what he was told.

“All they know is Claremont has not contacted them. It has been 30 days and I want speed things up,” said Osgood, who lost his bid for state senate in November. Santagate promised to contact the state.