By Laura Ann Sills - email
PINE MOUNTAIN, GA (WTVM) -Finally, a resolution to a story News Leader Nine has been following for over a year. After a summer left empty, some people thought the Liberty Bell Pool in Pine Mountain, GA would never see swimmers again. "I would walk downtown and that is all I'd hear, 'Why isn't the pool open?' 'When will it open again?' And, at that time, we never thought it would ever open back up," explained Don McGhee, FDR State Park.
Last summer was the rock pools first year without water. It had been open since it was built by the CCC boys as part of Roosevelt's new deal in 1941.
On Wednesday, the pool was filled by two natural springs. One that flows into the city of Pine Mountain, and another called the Liberty Bell.
The old drains needed repair because they did not meet state requirements. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources paid for new drains.
But, the pool also needed a concessioner, or someone to take responsibility of it. So, the Harris County Commission voted "yes" to step in and take over the operations. Pam Davis explained, "There were other hoops they had to go through after that. And, I am grateful the county pursued it."
Davis will be the pools manager this summer, and although she has been teaching swimming lessons here for six years, her connection to the liberty bell goes way back. "My father-in-law was the pool manager at one point, and my husband has been a lifeguard here," said Davis.
But, it is not all fun and games. The pool has an effect on tourism. Last summer, Pine Mountain saw fewer visitors. Hank Arnold of Pine Mountain Tourism said those that did come also stayed fewer days.
"How long they stay makes more money. It also made a difference with the downtown and the people coming in the shops. So, it definitely was a big impact on our economic development," said Arnold.
As water fills up the pool, the hope is that tourists will flow into Pint Mountain and FDR State Park.
Grand Opening: Friday, May 21, 2010 – 6 - 8 p.m.
Hours of Operation: Wednesday - Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 1 – 6 p.m.
For Questions or Reservations call the Harris County Recreation Department at 706-628-4621.