BIBLE HILL – Glenda Bower says despite refusal to provide extra funding for Scotia Pool by the Village of Bible Hill, the facility’s supporters will not give up their campaign to save the pool.
Bower, chairwoman of the Scotia Pool Users Society, told the Truro Daily News the decision on Tuesday night by Bible Hill commissioners to pass the 2013-2014 budget without adding extra funding for the pool’s future operation was disheartening.
“I’m discouraged. They’ve known for months we were coming to this meeting to ask for funding. It was our understanding the budget wouldn’t be done until next month’s meeting,” said Bower, who made a presentation to the village commission about an hour and a half before the budget was passed. The request was for $20,000 to $30,000 for the pool to help sustain it past this September.
“We are not giving up,” Bower told this paper.
“For the cost of a small coffee a day for each person in the county we could keep Scotia Pool open,” Bower told commissioners on Tuesday night.
Bower said the pool users group will approach Colchester and Truro councils and the provincial government for funding assistance.
“We already know we are in for a difficult time with the county,” she said, referring to the fact $100,000 contributions to the pool by the county were to cease when the Rath EastLink Community Centre in Truro opens. The centre is expected to open next month.
“We want to work together (with the community centre) as opposed to against each other,” said Bower, adding there’s “tremendous” support for the Bible Hill pool.
“It’s a warm-water pool (which has) immeasurable value for health …
we’ve never seen arthritis classes so well attended … our numbers are holding steady, if not increasing.”
Bower told this paper the pool can function annually on an estimated $250,000. About $120,000 of its income is from fees and rentals and about $30,000 is from the province. Bible Hill has been overseeing its payroll and bookkeeping since the fall.
“The oil bill and maintenance have been taken care of by the province,” said village clerk Bob Christianson at the meeting.
Bower said recent facility upgrades include new windows, a boiler and roofing. She said a Nova Scotia Community College student is designing, for free, a solar panel system through their sustainable energy technology program. In addition, a pool supporter will do a geothermal design free of charge.
“Recreation facilities are not designed to make money. I hope governments have enough of an open mind … to help,” Bower said, adding other recreational facilities, including Salmon River’s Deuville’s Rink, have received money from local government officials.