Rossland council applying for grants towards indoor pool

Rossland city council will apply for a grant that could help2011-12-21 convert the outdoor swimming pool to an indoor one.

Rossland city council will apply for a grant that could help2011-12-21 convert the outdoor swimming pool to an indoor one. Council voted 6-1 in favour of the grant submission after a lengthy debate about whether there were other options than a renovation of the pool.

Coun. Kathy Moore was the one vote against the proposal. She argued that council was never given an opportunity to look into other options. The timeline for the grant application was short, as it was announced in October, with a Dec. 28 deadline.

“I want to see us submit an application to this program that has a real high probability of success and I don’t think this application does,” Moore said. “We’re asking for $4 million on a $5 million project. A minimum of $2.5 million either way. The entire fund is $30 million.”

Moore said the stated goal of this fund in the province’s guidelines is to allow rural communities to spread the wealth of the funds widely.

“If we were 300 km from the nearest swimming pool, we might be a good candidate for it, but I don’t think we are,” she said. “So I think we’re squandering an excellent opportunity for doing something on the Emcon lot.”

CAO Victor Kumar responded that the Emcon lot was not an option, since it is not classed as a recreational area.

Coun. Jill Spearn echoed Moore’s feelings, but voted in favour after deciding it was a “yes or no” decision whether to apply.

“It’s either put in this application or don’t put in this application, so because of that I’m in support,” Spearn said.

Mayor Greg Granstrom stated that the decision was simple.

“That is the motion that’s on the table. Does council wish to proceed with this application?” Granstrom said. “We’re not putting the roof on it tomorrow. This is an application to see if we can get funding.”

Kumar talked about a possibility of staff cobbling together a proposal for a playground, but explained that under the grant guidelines the project needed to be something the city owned.

“You have only a narrow window of opportunity to make the application. You’re either in it or you’re out,” Kumar said. “There is no other project that is out there that we can go for… within that short window of time.”

Granstrom said investment is needed into the infrastructure of the pool either way and this is an opportunity to get some funding, but it doesn’t mean the city is going ahead with a renovation of the pool even if it gets the funding.