Selma considers taking over local pool

The Selma Town Council is exploring the possibility of taking over the local swimming pool.

Carol Harper told Mayor Cheryl Oliver and council members on Sept. 12 that many people don’t realize the town has a swimming pool.

“The pool was built in the 1950s as a private, shareholder operation,” said Harper. “But the shares used to fund the pool have dwindled away and the families that had children have moved away.”

The pool is located at 212 Griswold St. Harper has been a shareholder for 20 years.

“For many years, I ran the pool,” said Harper. “I was there everyday, my children were raised in the pool. After my husband died, spent every day there with the people.”

Harper said the pool is sturdy and strong and that everything’s there to operate it except for the chemicals.

The pool was open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and its annual operating cost, including lifeguards, was $16,000, said Harper.

“We would love for the town to take it over,” said Harper. “Then Selma would be the only town in Johnston County that would have a public pool.”

Councilman William Overby said the swimming pool wasn’t handicap accessible.

“We were grandfathered in that clause because we’ve been a private pool,” said Harper. “Hotels have handicap lifts and one could be added.”

Councilman Tommy Holmes said he’d like a public hearing to discuss the issue at the town’s Oct. 10 council meeting.

“I’d like to know the liability if we get involved in the pool,” said Overby.

“We’d need to get an insurance quote,” said Chip Hewett, town attorney. “The North Carolina League of Municipalities could give us a quote and then we could see what we’d need.”

The Town of Selma might take over the local privately-owned pool.

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