Why there is no swimming pool planned for Clarenville’s future
Town council says it’s simply not feasible
Should active swimmers and families in Clarenville expect a public pool facility in the future?
The short answer, says town council, is no.
“It’s not even an active consideration right now,” Mayor Frazer Russell told The Packet, who says that the idea has been floated in the past. Here’s why.
Russell cites the affordability of both opening and operating the facility, and says that the idea of a public pool facility is simply not feasible.
“We don’t have the money, number one, to buy it and build it, and number two, to operate it.”
In 2014 the town did a concept plan and a feasibility study for a pool to be attached to the Eastlink Events Centre.
Town CAO David Harris told The Packet that, according to that feasibility study, it would cost roughly $9 million to construct a six-lane swimming pool facility attachment to the Eastlink Events Centre (EEC).
Harris even added that this was the cheapest option, as the EEC and the pool could share amenities.
Harris estimates that in 2018, the cost of construction might be closer to $10 million, and says that without provincial or federal funding, the town simply cannot afford it.
“Governments years ago were providing funding for pools and recreation centres and whatnot, but it seems that those funding sources have dried up and the priorities have changed to clean drinking water and waste water treatment,” Harris explained.
The study also projected an operating cost of roughly $500,000 a year, according to Harris, which he says is on average with other pools around the province.
He added while council understands there is a desire for a public swimming pool facility, and that the town would love to be able to provide the facility, without funding it is not possible.
“We’re in limbo waiting to see if there’s any funding out there that would help us build it,” explained Harris.
“We need government help, and right now government doesn’t have any funding for it.” Harris says the feasibility study projected an income of roughly $200,000 to $250,000 annually, meaning that the town would be responsible be subsidizing the pool at a cost of roughly $300,000 per year.