| The owner of Adams Township’s public pool is filling it with dirt in an effort to reduce his annual property taxes.
Arthur Swope, 73, of Healy Lane closed the Liberty Park pool in 1997 and put it up for sale at $550,000 but there were no buyers. Now he’s reduced the price to $300,000 and is asking township supervisors to take it off his hands.
In the meantime, he expects covering the concrete pool will cut his taxes by $2,700 yearly.
Swope believes the pool was built in the 1930s. He bought it in 1983 after retiring from Bethlehem Steel.
"I’ve had 600 or 700 people in there at one time," Swope said Friday as he sat at a picnic table near the pool.
The pool is 170 feet long and 68 feet wide. At the deep end it register 9 feet.
Swope thinks he is in over his head because he can’t sell the property.
"My wife became ill and I wanted to retire for real" he said of his decision to sell.
Included in the price are 9 acres of land, a trailer court with 13 mobile homes, a bath house, dance hall and a private spring that feeds the 450,000 gallon pool.
Swope said all the pumps were working two years ago. But he's not sure the pipes are watertight today.
He’s waiting for a decision from supervisors Monday night that could save his hopes to |
see the pool reopen.
"They could operate it for a lot cheaper than I can," said Swope.
Swope thinks insurance, which cost him 10 percent of the gross income when the pool was operating could be bought for less by the township.
"I've heard they can get insurance for $500 a year," he said.
But is doesn't seem likely supervisors will take the plunge.
"All residents need recreation, but it's just not feasible for us," Denny Gdula, one of five supervisors for Adams Township, said during a telephone interview Friday.
"We don’t have the manpower or the funds to maintain a pool.
"We’re voting on the 13th, but I’m 99.9 percent sure we’ll turn him down," Gdula said.
Swope said he never lost money when the pool was open, despite sinking about $10,000 for taxes and repairs into it at the start of every swimming season.
He admits it would cost more to make it operational now. He’s knocked down the wall at the shallow end to allow access by dump trucks.
Swope said it will take about a week to fill it with dirt from a nearby sewer construction project.
On Friday, he was still making minor repairs inside the dance hall. A sign outside the door advertises space for rent by the night.