Beloved Arlington Pool in South Bend to close

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- With the “unofficial start of summer” coming on Memorial Day weekend, just ten days away, folks may be gearing up for the pool or the beach.

Unfortunately, a beloved pool in South Bend, the Arlington Swim Club, will no longer be open. 

It owes thousands of dollars in back taxes, plus there's high costs for maintenance and staffing. 

The president of the Arlington Swim Board stated that a generous neighbor was willing to pay off the more than $30,000 in back taxes in time for the pool to open in two weeks.

The donor has since backed out and it's not clear why.

Mark Dollinger, a member of the Arlington Swim Club for more than 20 years, recalls the days when his kids learned to swim here, splashing around, and cannonballing off the diving board. 

"So, it's really a bittersweet moment, standing here knowing that we won't be able to do that anymore,” said Dollinger. 

Dollinger believes the closure is here to stay unless someone steps up to pay the pool's bills. 

He's tried fundraising to keep it open but says membership declined to just 101 last year, compared to the 175 to 200 needed to break even. He adds that operating costs can climb to nearly $60,000 each summer.

"Labor costs have gone up, cost of chlorine, paint, etc., Everything has gone up, so it would really challenge our finances to even continue through the whole season,” said Dollinger.

Dollinger adds that with more summer activity options, parents may be more selective in what to enroll their children in

Dollinger is happy to have his memories of Arlington but is sad for the families who will miss out. 

"They were looking forward to it this year, hoping that they could get back into the pool. I want to say I will miss seeing them and having fun in the pool this summer, again another bittersweet moment to be here and be at the pool and know it's not going to open,” said Dollinger.

The swim club says anyone who has already paid for their membership for this year will get a refund. The club has until September to pay those back taxes.

According to the swim board president, if they do not pay the back taxes in time, the pool will go back to its original purchaser, an investment company based out of Tennessee.

UPDATE: The Arlington Swim Club has posted another update via Facebook regarding the pool's closure.

The board has decided to hold an open board meeting on May 22, at 7:30 p.m., after the recent turn of events from their initial closure announcement.

The meeting will be held at the Arlington Pool.

The club invites all members to hear the reasoning for the closure and discuss if there are any last options.

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