Plans to Reopen Public Pool in Mount Carmel

MOUNT CARMEL, Pa. -- We hear a lot about public swimming pools closing in recent years. What we don't hear much about is public pools reopening. But that's what could happen in Mount Carmel.

For the past three seasons, there's been no swimming here at the Mount Carmel Area Community Pool.

Mary Snyder and her family were disappointed when the pool closed in 2014. She was ecstatic to find out about plans to reopen the public pool this summer.

"I had it when my kids were young. I have a lot of friends who have little ones who are really going to enjoy it," Snyder said.

A group called Citizens Recreation Committee formed three months ago to bring more things to do to Mount Carmel. The group recently came to council and asked to reopen the pool

"We gave them a budget analysis, showed that there was an effort in the town to get the pool opened. There were surveys done by Bucknell University," Don Kuntz said.

This week Mount Carmel borough council voted 4-3 to spend $25,000 to reopen the community pool. Council President Bob Shirmer voted against it.

"I think they're going to run into problems in years to come. We're going to open the pool and maybe in two years we will have to close it because we'll never have enough money to support it," Shirmer said.

Shirmer tells Newswatch 16 the reason the pool closed was due to lack of attendance.

"We went down there and it was in the 80s and there were only two people swimming," Shirmer said.

The recreation committee has some ideas on how to bring people to the pool this summer. That includes an aggressive social media campaign, exercise programs and entertainment.

"Something for our area for the kids to do so it's very exciting," Snyder said.

"It's been closed for a number of years. Let's at least give it one more chance, we'll make sure it's either dead or alive and if it doesn't work out we do something else," Kuntz said.

There are other public swimming pools close by. Pools at Knoebels Amusement Resort and in Shamokin are within 20 minutes of Mount Carmel. The Mount Carmel Area Community Pool is scheduled to reopen sometime in June.