Lake Mohawk Country Club moves to buy Lake Mohawk Pool

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  • Lake Mohawk Pool owner Greg Leo surrounded by swim team members after a tournament win in 2016 Photo by Rose Sgarlato

  • John Stanley, LMCC general manager, taken earlier this year Photo by Rose Sgarlato

  • Tate Swenson (front) and her twin, Carly dive into the Sparta Pool. They are part of the swim team there and their mother, Tracey Swenson, is one of the coaches. Photo provided

By Laurie Gordon

— A private pool club with no residency restrictions is about to do a 180. The Lake Mohawk Pool is now under contract to be sold to The Lake Mohawk Country Club (LMCC), a membership community that currently allows its members, who do have residency restrictions, access to the country club facilities and a number of lake beaches. Now, if membership approves, members will also have access to a pool.

“Monday night (Aug. 27) the Country Club and I finally arrived at a meeting of minds for us to sell the pool and property,” said Greg Leo, who has owned the pool for a number of years. “This is contingent, however, on approval by the members of The Lake Mohawk Country Club.”

He added, “From my understanding, the leaders of the Country Club will formulate a plan whereby they will operate the pool and its facilities and hold two public sessions where this plan would be explained to the membership.”

“I think this would be great because it really puts the pool into the public domain rather than the private domain. For the past few years, there have been undertones as to whether the pool will open again next year. This would mean it would always be a fixture, which is very much enjoyed.”

Tucked away on East Shore Trail in the Byram section of the lake, the pool is a great place to swim, exercise or just enjoy the day. In addition to the Olympic sized pool, the facility also includes basketball courts, sports fields, a playground, and a kiddie pool. Membership is not restricted to area residents. Bill Greenlaw, president of the Lake Mohawk Country Club, suggested that the club planned to maintain the pool membership status quo.

“The Leo-Carbin Group (seller) and LMCC (buyer) have entered into a contract to buy the Lake Mohawk Pool," Greenlaw said. "Due diligence will begin this week. The membership of LMCC must approve the purchase. If LMCC does acquire the pool our initial plan is to operate the pool similarly as it has operated in the past few years. We anticipate that we will make family memberships available to non-LMCC members for 2019 and offer a discount for LMCC members. During the due diligence period we will be honing our plans. The financial impact to general LMCC Members will be determined during this period.”

Greenlaw said, “We envision having two informational meetings for the members of LMCC in October. The membership vote will occur in October or November.”

He characterized acquisition of the pool and the associated lakefront as "a unique opportunity to enhance the vibrant lake community lifestyle of the Lake Mohawk Country Club. By acquiring this property we can maintain green space and continue to be good stewards of Lake Mohawk and its environmentally sensitive shoreline."

“A contract has been set," said LMCC General Manager John Stanley. "It is now up to the members to approve it. I think it is a very positive happening for the Country Club.”

Tim Holovacs is a coach at The Lake Mohawk Pool.

“I was told that it wouldn' be a totally done deal until the Lake Mohawk Country Club membership voted on it,” he said. “The pool has been a part of the community for my entire life. I was a swimmer there starting when I was five years old and having it become part of the Country Club would be a great way to weave it into the fabric of the community.”

Holovacs coached at the pool when he was a teen then returned as a coach when his children started swimming on the swim team about 11 years ago. He also runs a chiropractic office in Sparta and is a Biology teacher at Kittatinny Regional High School. Additionally, he's starting a rowing club.

Tracey Swenson goes to the Sparta Pool and is a swim team coach there for her daughters' team.

“I think its great that Greg Leo sold the Lake Mohawk Pool to Lake Mohawk Country Club,” she said. “I have a lot of respect for Mr. Leo and all the beautification that he did to revitalize the pool. He put a lot of time, energy, and money into fixing that pool and improving its surroundings and bringing back camaraderie to the community.”

Swenson added, “The facilities are quite beautiful and offer so much to the members. I would believe that the sale to Lake Mohawk Country Club would open opportunities to Lake Mohawk owners to have the pool as an option, in addition to the 10 plus beaches surrounding Lake Mohawk, included in their membership. All in all, I think it’s very positive and am excited to see how it will all pan out.”

“The possibility was just announced two weeks ago to members, and members will have lots of questions," said Sparta resident and Lake Mohawk Country Club member Ginny Eick Smith, "It might make sense to buy it, but we need to learn the details and I assume we will vote on it, though I'm not sure.”

Leo and the Carbin families wrote a letter to pool members thanking staff and members for many enjoyable seasons. "You will always remain in our hearts, and it has been our absolute pleasure — and honor — to spend these past six summers with you all."

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