Budget, indoor pools and opinions
With the month of August off from Council meetings (committees still meet) the amount of emails coming in have remained steady.
The newest topic? An indoor pool at the Community Centre.
While this is not a new idea, it is a new item request for this term.
In 2013 the discussions began about a year round indoor pool.
In 2018, a committee was formed and information along with statistics and resident input was collected.
The survey put out to residents resulted in a strong opinion that the cost of the indoor pool as well as operating costs not result in a tax increase.l for residents.
The following results were presented to council regarding costs;
With budget talks beginning in a few weeks for the 2024 town budget, it's difficult to even consider looking at an indoor pool for the community when there are still outstanding items such as parking (lack there of) waterfront access, playground replacements, municipal building maintenance and renovations, roadwork, culverts, bike lanes, traffic and safety etc.
All while being reminded by residents wanting a 3% or less tax increase.
Some have suggested MAT tax be used. At the moment the towns portion of MAT from this year is just over $300,000.
I can support the operating cost deficit annually as an investment into the residents of this community.
My concern is, without raising taxes, where will the funding of $6-$12million to build the facility come from?
Also for your consideration is, what if it was located in Glendale or St.Davids?
A few questions from emails I have received on the subject:
Just as those residents would drive the 9 minutes to get to a pool at the community centre, would old town residents mind driving the 9 minutes to one of the villages?
Maybe it is worth looking at the St.Davids pool replacement with an indoor one?
What if the high school in Glendale built an indoor pool for the community to use?
Great conversations have opened up.
Let's keep exploring options, while keeping in mind the entire community.