Public Pool Rescued by Donations

HONESDALE -- As communities struggle to keep public pools open, one borough in Wayne County is getting much-needed help to make repairs so its pool can stay open.

The Honesdale Area Pool was built back in the 1980s and fell into disrepair so much that borough leaders didn't think it would reopen.

Now, organizations are raising thousands of dollars to fix the pool and make sure it stays open for years to come.

Gallons and gallons of water were being pumped out of the public pool along Fair Avenue so crews can make some necessary repairs before it's filled again for the summer season.

The decades-old pool is showing signs of age. At one point last year, borough officials feared the structural problems would prevent it from opening ever again.

"There have been a lot of band aids put on it over the years and they've worked. But band aids don't last," said Chris Murray.

Murray heads up the Parks and Recreation Committee on Honesdale Borough Council. When the pool's future appeared to be down the drain, Murray said community organizations came to the rescue.

"It illustrates what the greater Honesdale community is all about," he said.

The Honesdale Lions Club started asking for donations for the pool repairs and pretty soon, more than $125,000 was raised, half of the goal to make sure the pool lasts a while longer.

"Many, many organizations that we went to have stepped forward and said we are willing to help out. It's a much-needed service and it's going to be provided again," said Paul Meagher with the Lions Club.

One of the reasons other small communities are closing public pools is that it costs a lot of money to run them. Honesdale officials said the entire sum of tax money that comes into the borough for parks and recreation goes to the pool alone, no other parks.

"The pool has been around for a lot of years and it's had a lot of use. So it needs to be upgraded and kept up nice. There was danger that it was going to close if we didn't get community support," said Wayne County YMCA Director Tina Hoehn.

Between a YMCA Day Camp that sees nearly 100 kids use the pool all summer long, other camps and swim lessons, the Honesdale pool gets a lot of use and thanks to so much generosity, will keep making a splash.

"It's wonderful. People are excited about keeping the pool in for the children and making it work here," added Hoehn.

The Honesdale Area Pool is also looking for lifeguards for the 2017 season which should start within a month or so.

There's still a way to go to reach the $250,000 goal to help make major repairs in the fall.

2 comments

  • Wow

    How come there is never talk about benefit reductions or pay freezes but community programs are always optional?

    • Sam I Am

      Because those who cut these programs have their own pools, and would never be seen in a public pool.

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