Decision soon on pool, second ice pad
Steve Newman, Renfrew Mercury
November 21, 2012
Town of Renfrew staff and council are gearing up for a public meeting regarding the potential construction of a second ice pad and swimming pool.
A workshop is scheduled for council chambers Nov. 28, to confirm construction costs and to firm up annual operating costs for the new facilities.
This is being done with the knowledge that there is no apparent provincial or federal government funding available to help make the facility a reality.
Council is on the record as saying that the project will not be pursued unless those two levels of government are financial backers. Council has generally also indicated it’s not willing to raise local taxes by more than one percentage point to finance the second ice pad and pool.
The 6:30 p.m. workshop will involve council, the recreation committee and members of the pool and second-ice-pad user groups. The public is welcome to attend the session.
“We hope that information will go to the parks and recreation committee for their analysis and recommendation. Then we will have a public meeting in early December, at which time this information will be given to any citizens of the Town of Renfrew,” said Mayor Bill Ringrose.
This will be an information meeting to help determine if the town can afford the operating and capital costs.
“I think we will make provision for attendees who would like to express their opinion on a form. But primarily it is an information meeting at which there will be an opportunity to ask questions.”
In January 2013, a motion will be on the floor to decide if council proceeds with the project or not.
During the Nov. 13 meeting of Renfrew council, Ringrose suggested it would be suitable to have a recorded vote on the issue (in January), because of the importance and longevity of the issue.
“It’s clear this cannot be done without federal and provincial support. Is there anything new that has opened up in the last little while? No,” Mayor Bill Ringrose told The Renfrew Mercury EMC.
Consequently, he suggests the onus will be on the municipality to make the pitch to government about the merits of financial assistance.
“We all know this is not a great financial time for everybody, so that may come back as a flat refusal,” said the mayor.
“The other thing is, when we look around, it’s not like the government isn’t doing something. They’re doing something in almost every geographical area all the time. And the magnitude of this project is not huge by their context. It’s huge, relative to the town … when you talk about something like, say, $6 million.”
A Toronto-based architect forecast costs for the pool-ice pad, so the town is asking an eastern region consultant to verify the capital-cost projections for this region.
Even then, Ringrose says the reality of those costs wouldn’t be known until the project goes to tender. For feedback on its projected annual operating costs, recreation director Barclay Mayhew has contacted an Ottawa-area expert.
This article is for personal use only courtesy of YourOttawaRegion.com - a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd.