A fundraising committee for the new St. Davids Pool is moving forward, but it could use some help.
Despite some uncertainty about funding, council was asked and agreed to reaffirm its commitment to replacing the pool, and strike a fundraising committee.
In an update from Kevin Turcotte, the Town’s acting director of operations, councillors learned that although staff advertised twice for interested community members to apply for the committee, nobody has come forward and offered to help.
A request for committee members was also posted and then reposted on the Town’s website, also with no results.
The terms of reference have been drafted, and will be approved or revised by the committee, once it’s been formed, the report says.
One of the items discussed at a December council meeting was the cost of the new pool, which had risen to $5 million from the original projection of $3 to $3.5 million. The increase was due to some changes in the design, including more swimming lanes, and was finalized in October, after several opportunities for public input. The 2020 budget earmarks $100,000 for the pool, with the fundraising committee charged with raising a portion of the cost. Turcotte is hoping for an infrastructure grant, funded by the federal and provincial governments, along with a municipal investment.
The grant application asked for $4.74 million, and if successful, 40 per cent would come from the federal government and 33.33 per cent from the Province. The Town would be expected to contribute the remainder, about $1.2 million, either through its capital budget or fundraising.
The result of the grant application could mean the project will have to be “pared down,” and could also impact the timeline for construction, says Turcotte.
“We won’t have the answers until we have information on the grant.” He’s hopeful that having an approved design and shovel-ready project will contribute to a positive response.
There are other grants that could be pursued if necessary, he added. “We’re always looking for grants.”
The report to council says staff believe there will be more interest in the committee once the status of the infrastructure grant is known, and at that time, the request for members to serve on a fundraising committee could be reposted.
But councillors don’t want to wait, and it was agreed Monday that Lord Mayor Betty Disero would reach out to the St. Davids Ratepayers Association and to the St. Davids Lions Club, asking each to provide two members to sit on the committee. She had already sent the emails by Tuesday morning, and was hoping for a positive response.
Couns. John Wiens and Gary Burroughs have volunteered to sit on the committee.
Burroughs also suggested contacting some of the swimmers who regularly use the pool to help out.
The more bodies the better, says Turcotte, who directs anyone who is interested and has some expertise in fundraising to fill out an online application for the committee.