Council has taken the $5 million line item for the controversial pool upgrade off the city’s five-year financial plan. The funds were allocated there in the case that the city gets the 4 million it applied for from the province in December.
Coun. Kathy Moore put forward the recommendation that the item be taken out until they hear back from about the grant.
“If we were to decide that this is where we want to go then we could amend it and put it back in,” Moore said. “I feel this particular issue has been very troublesome in the community and I do not want to see it in the plan.”
Moore cited that sometimes money ends up being spent on things in the plan for the sole reason that it was in the plan.
Coun. Cary Fisher suggested that they leave some amount in the fund, because they will, either way, have to do some maintenance on the pool structure.
CAO Victor Kumar explained that since the $4 million would come from the province, the net effect would only be about $400,000 to the city when all is said and done.
Mayor Greg Granstrom acknowledged that.
“Everyone understands that, I think it’s just been a contentious issue,” Granstrom said.
Moore said that Coun. Fisher had a good point, saying that the number left in should be the amount that it takes to maintain the facility for the three months a year it is currently open.
Coun. Jody Blomme said that one of the purposes of this plan is to cover all our bases.
“We as a council voted to apply for a grant and to take this out of our plan could potentially hinder that grant,” she said. “If that’s going to affect that situation, then we’re going through this process for nothing, because we’re backstopping, we’re jumping into the pool and then jumping out.”
Moore said that council needs to have “have a little bit of reality here.”
She said that council package included information that the $30 million recreation fund the grant would come out of was heavily oversubscribed.
“There are $110 million worth of projects that have been applied for that fund, 219 municipalities put in applications to the government,” she said, adding sarcastically that, “We have to really cover ourselves here to make sure that our plan is there so that when we get 13 per cent of the fund, we’re ready for it. That’s not very likely.”
“I think it’s more important for us to make a plan that we believe in for our community then it is to go chasing the tail of some grant that we’re very unlikely to get in the first place.”
Council voted to have the item reflect the swimming pool as a three month operation.
Moore said they she would rather add it back in when they know what the community wants.
The mayor, and councillors Jody Blomme and Kathy Wallace were opposed to the motion.