Mayor Dave Augustyn's Weekly Column - Indoor Pool

Posted May 9th, 2016 in Municipal

Mayor Dave Augustyn's Weekly Column - Indoor Pool

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Indoor Pool and Amendment Questions for Pelham Community Centre


Mayor Dave Augustyn’s Column for Monday, 9 May 2016

Since Council recently approved moving forward with the construction of the Pelham Community Centre, some people have continued to ask questions. Here’s two of the most oft asked questions:

Why No Indoor Pool?

You will recall that since 1990 the community has consistently voiced a desire – through seven consultant studies and staff reports – for a new twin pad arena, new indoor pool facilities and other community facilities. But, when Council reviewed those reports in late-2012, we confirmed that “no significant or meaningful financial work was completed.”

So, the Town surveyed you and your neighbours about your needs, tested a business case, and developed an operating pro forma to satisfy those needs.

In 2013, the Town hired LeisurePlan, experts in community recreation planning, to conduct a statistically-significant resident survey about our community's needs and preferences. LeisurePlan used this survey to test the business case for various community facilities.

In January 2014, LeisurePlan reported that the number of potential members to use an indoor pool was only 50% of that required to financially support it. Further, they estimated that to make an indoor pool “financially viable” the Town would have to provide an operating subsidy “in the order of $1,000,000 per year.” Therefore, because of the high capital and operating costs and lack of sustaining demand, Council accepted LeisurePlan’s recommendation that the Town not provide an indoor pool facility.

Why Disallow An Amendment For a Single Pad Arena?

After receiving presentations and correspondence from residents and community representatives during our special Council meeting on April 25, Council deliberated a motion to move ahead with the construction of the Community Centre as designed.

When a Councillor tried to move an amendment to that motion to construct the Centre with only one arena, I had to rule the amendment “out of order.” Why? Because Council already approved designing the facility with two arenas.

You see, on July 6, 2015 Council received a business case report from Leisureplan showing that the sustaining demand exists to operate two arenas. As a result of that report, Council approved a motion that we design the Community Centre with two arenas so that both would operate when the building opens.

To change gears and enact what the April 25 proposed “amendment” tried to accomplish, Council would have had to 1) defeat the motion we were dealing with, 2) rescind the July 6, 2015 motion, 3) and direct that the Centre be re-designed with one arena and so that a second to be added later.

I am pleased that we are constructing a Community Centre based on a solid business case. And, I appreciate the ongoing interest from the community!

You may contact Mayor Dave at mayordave@pelham.ca  or read past columns at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.com .

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