Town Of Selma Considering Purchasing Public Pool

Residents in Selma could be enjoying a public pool as early as next summer.

The remaining four shareholders of a private pool on Griswold Street have approached the Town of Selma about taking over the facility behind Selma Elementary School.

Carol Harper has operated the pool in recent years, however it did not operate in 2017. Harper said many people don’t realize there is a pool in Selma.

In the 1950’s, 200 families contributed $200 each to buy a membership and form Selma Recreation Park, Inc. Membership has dwindled in recent years and only 4 of the original 200 shareholders still contribute. To help with the costs, Harper said family memberships were sold for $350 per summer and individuals were allowed to swim for $5 per day.

Harper said the pool costs about $16,000 to operate between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.

Tuesday night, Harper asked the Town of Selma to buy the pool for $4,670.05, which is equal to outstanding property taxes and utility bills on the 1 acre site.
“I am glad you decided to consider us,” Mayor Pro Tem Jackie Lacy told Harper. “We need a swimming pool in this area.”

Councilman Tommy Holmes requested and the council agreed to hold a public hearing in October to see if citizens are interested in the Town purchasing the pool and opening it to the public.
Harper said the pool is in overall good condition and would be a benefit to Selma citizens.

“I’ve got to learn to swim,” Lacy said with a smile.

If purchased by the Town of Selma and opened in 2018, it would be the only public pool facility in operation in the Smithfield-Selma area.

In July 2016, East Smithfield residents attempted to get the Town of Smithfield to reopen the Eva Ennis Pool in East Smithfield that closed in 2009. At the 2016 meeting, Town Manager Mike Scott said the pool would need $340,000 in repairs to reopen and was cost prohibitive.During the public meeting, East Smithfield residents said passes to the pool at the Smithfield Recreation & Aquatics Center were cost prohibitive for families on fixed incomes.