South Middleton Township buys community park for one buck

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SOUTH MIDDLETON TOWNSHIP, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. -- The amount of money one Cumberland County community paid for a new municipal park carries what some might consider an unbelievable price tag.

South Middleton Township supervisors purchased the land which includes a fresh water spring that feeds into Children's Lake.

A dollar can go a long way if you know how to stretch it, but some wonder what can anyone buy with a dollar.

Park visitor Pam Martin remarked "nothing."

It's true that a dollar might not get as much as it it used to, but a fresh water spring and surrounding three-acre park in South Middleton Township recently sold for a shocking price.

South Middleton Township supervisor Tom Faley said "one dollar."

The seller is the South Middleton Township Municipal Authority. The agency bought the bubbling spring as an extra source of water in 1983, for a lot more than one dollar.

It paid $30,000 for the land, but times have changed.

"The township authority, the municipal authority, it has three municipalities that wells in this township, and a very good aquifer, so it taps into it, they don't need this," Faley said.

The township did want it however, as it bought not only a new municipal park, but peace of mind for visitors as well.

Park visitor Pam Martin said "I walk in here, as much as I can. I work right up the road. It's my trail to the post office, and I love the ducks. It's calm and peaceful, let's you kind of regroup."

"The fact that it feeds 8 million gallons into the lake, one-third of the lake comes from here. This is so exciting," Faley said.

"There's much that's been done, seats, what have you, the walk, our residents and the municipal authority have given us a running start," Faley added.

There may be even brighter days ahead.

"I hope that we may be able to install lights, down along the walk there, and by doing so, make it very accessible at night," Faley said.

The park cost only a buck, which begs the question of what is the true value of this land to South Middleton Township.

"Priceless! Just when you look and see how clear it is and everything, it's a priceless asset. The one dollar qualifies as a steal," Faley said.

The sewer authority operates separately from the township, so Faley said he and other township officials couldn't be more grateful for the extra land across the street from Children's Lake.