The TEA recently voted to discontinue their associate member program at the Spring 2015 TEA Membership Meeting. This vote does NOT affect the regular deeded TEA residents.
The associate member program was instituted decades ago to allow non-deeded residents in the surrounding community (but not deeded members of the TEA) the ability to join the TEA Beach on a seasonal basis. As far as we know, this was the only program of it’s kind for any of the town’s lakes.
At its peak 12 years ago there were 30 families enrolled as associate members — as well as a waiting list to get into the associate program. More recently, due to demographic shifts (fewer young families) and the kid-friendly improvements at the Lewisboro Town Pool, the associate member program has seen a marked decrease in the number of residents signing up each year.
The main reasons for the discontinuation are:
- Financial: The program was costing the TEA more money in full-time lifeguard requirements than it was bringing in through associate membership payments.
- No permit requirement: With associate members, the TEA beach fell under the Westchester County Department of Health purview and needed to purchase annual permits from them. Without associate members, the TEA beach is a fully private beach for deeded TEA members only.
- Fewer restrictions on beach use: TEA beach hours were restricted for regular deeded members when the association had associate members join. The county took the position that if there were no lifeguards on the beach, they could not open it to anyone, regardless of the season, and regardless of whether they were deeded members. No winter bonfires, no skating from the beach, no fall clambakes. That sounds ridiculous — but that was the official word from the county starting about 10 years ago.
So, the bottom line — after years of TEA board and member debate — and running the program at a loss — the TEA is now just the deeded members in good standing.
Since the associate member program is written into the TEA organization bylaws as an option, the TEA could conceivably resurrect it in the future if they get at least 12 or more families to join and re-start the program. At this point, the member numbers just are not there to make it worthwhile for the TEA.
The answer to current queries about joining the lake for the summer if you live outside the area is now no. If you have any other questions, please contact the TEA at firstname.lastname@example.org.