After hearing the news that the pool at Glen Mary Park would not open this season, someone hung a sign on the fencing that surrounds the now-empty pool. ISLANDER PHOTO BY NINAH REIN

Glen Mary pool won’t open this year

BAR HARBOR — The popular wading pool at Glen Mary Park will be closed this summer and very likely next summer as well because the water pipes beneath the pool are falling apart and need to be replaced. 

The pool will also be closed for winter skating. 

“The pool is beyond repair,” said Town Manager Kevin Sutherland. “Our hope was to utilize some of our capital funds to make some Band-Aid repairs to get us through another season or two.” 

But he said no one could be found to do the work and get the pool open until at least late summer, and the cost would have been more than the town has available for such a project. 

“So, the pool is not going to be open this summer and, depending on the timing and the cost, it may not be open next summer either,” Sutherland said. 

“Part of the problem is that the pool sits in a swamp. The water table has risen, and water is pushing up against the pool from the underside. 

“Also, the pipes are old and decrepit, so there is infiltration. Water gets in and, during the winter, it freezes and then breaks up the pipes more,” Sutherland said. 

“We’re having a really tough time circulating the water, which is the primary reason we can’t do much without tearing up the pool and starting over.” 

That likely would cost upwards of $250,000 or more, according to the town’s initial estimates. 

The town has leased the pool from the Village Improvement Association (VIA) since 1995 and the rest of Glen Mary Park since 2014. That 10-year-lease expires in two years. 

“I don’t think we can make any decisions about investing in the pool until we have some assurance that we will continue to have a public presence there,” said John Kelly, chair of the Parks & Recreation Committee. “There’s no reason to think the VIA wouldn’t continue the lease. Still, you don’t want to make that kind of commitment without a legal agreement.” 

The Parks & Recreation Committee discussed the pool situation with Sutherland last Monday. 

“The recommendation from that meeting was, unfortunately, to take a step back, close the pool and then have the Parks & Recreation Committee take the lead in a process to get ideas and feedback from the public on both the pool and the rest of the property,” Kelly said 

A few residents of the Glen Mary neighborhood also met with the Parks & Recreation Committee last Monday. 

“We shared our concerns about the park,” said Ellen Grover “We asked for a modest management plan to ensure the health, safety and future of the woodland area. 

“It’s an aging, dying park right now that has been neglected of late and deserves the professional help and TLC given to it in the past.” 

Grover said residents of the Glen Mary area want to work with the town to see that it is properly maintained on a permanent basis. 

This Saturday, Glen Mary residents will be raking in the park and piling up branches, sticks and debris for a town crew to take away. 


Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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