Town moves ahead with therapy pool 0
A draft concept for Heritage Park, with a Sprung Structure covering Centennial Pool and a therapeutic pool. The new fire hall is to the left.
COLLINGWOOD — Town council has voted in favour of adding a therapeutic pool at Heritage Park, creating an aquatic facility that will be housed under one roof.
On Monday, councillors supported a recommendation to spend $550,000 to add the pool as part of the plan to build an architectural membrane structure over Centennial Pool. The decision means the building approved by council in late August will increase the size of the building to 90-by-210 feet; the original plan to just cover Centennial Pool would see a 90-by-160-foot building.
Council's decision, however, wasn't without a note of caution from two councillors, who raised concerns that the town had little indication what the facility's ongoing operational costs will be.
"I'm concerned that once again, we're making a decision at full steam ahead without all the questions answered," said Councillor Keith Hull, who supported a motion by Councillor Joe Gardhouse to defer a decision for 30 days.
Gardhouse asked about the status of discussions with the Collingwood YMCA to run the facility, and said council should wait at least a month to see if the Y would be the operator.
"My problem from the start has been the operating costs could be high, and it would probably be prudent to wait 30 days," he said. "I would like to hear from (the YMCA)… it would be pertinent information for this decision."
Acting-CAO Ed Houghton said the Y's board of directors was reviewing the town's offer to run the facility, and had not yet replied back to municipal officials.
However, Deputy-mayor Rick Lloyd suggested the town didn't need the Y to run the facility.
"I'm not so convinced that we need anybody else but the town to operate (the facility)," he said, adding the programming for the facility — including the therapeutic pool — could be done in concert with the Y, local seniors' groups, or even the competitive swim club, the Collingwood Clippers.
"The price (of construction) is right, so it's time to move on," he said.
The additional funding needed to build the therapeutic pool would come from a transfer from the Black Ash Creek reserve fund ($450,000). It would also bring the total capital costs of the project — including the new rink at Central Park — to $12.18 million; the town has more than $12.2 million in a combination of reserve and development charge accounts, along with a proposal to use $8 million of the proceeds of the transfer of 50% of Collus to PowerStream. That element of the funding is still to be confirmed through a public meeting.