Western New Jersey

10-year debate continues over reopening of New Jersey pool

ALPHA, N.J. - The borough council in Alpha, Warren County is once again at a stalemate over whether or not to reopen the town pool.

Three council members abstained from voting about the issue during Wednesday's council meeting, which means a tie vote can't be broken by the mayor and the fate of the pool still remains up in the air.

The debate over the pool has been ongoing for over 10 years.

The borough closed the pool in 2006 after financial woes made it too expensive to operate but Mayor Craig Dunwell said Alpha is now in a better place financially and has the money to support it.

"We have the robustness in our budget to cover operation of pool,” Dunwell said.

Dunwell said the cost to repair the pool and get it ready to open would be about $600,000 and closing the pool and demolishing it would be around $300,000.

Council members opposed to the project have said that the pool won't be able to sustain itself and if reopened, would be forced to close again.

Alpha residents have voted twice in referendums to reopen the pool.

Council members in favor of it say they want to honor those voters’ wishes.

"I can't even begin to explain how frustrated I am. I got on council to make a difference in my town,” said council member Tracy Grossman who is in favor of reopening the pool.

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