BIBLE HILL – The Scotia Pool Society will have to take on massive financial responsibilities in order to stay in operation beyond this summer.
‘Massive’ financial responsibilities ahead for pool society
A letter from Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell was read at this week’s Bible Hill village commission meeting stating the department, which oversees the operational expenses, will allow the pool to remain operational at least until the summer.
Past that date will depend on some heavy demands by the provincial government. It requests the society come up with a new business plan by July 31 and states the organization will need to be responsible for operational and capital costs, funding staff and insurance coverage.
“The department will no longer provide any financial or ‘in-kind’ support to the Scotia Pool facility or to the society,” said Colwell’s letter.
An assessment of the facility by the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department indicates upgrade costs could run between $650,000 and $1.3 million.
“They have a tough road in front of them,” said village chairman Tom Burke.
“It doesn’t look possible to me,” added commissioner Sharon McLean.
Glenda Bower, the society’s chairwoman, said the update is a challenge but not discouraging.
“We are very determined and not defeated. I think the community will rally behind us,” said Bower.
Regarding the $650,000 to $1.3-million upgrade assessment costs, Bower said the high-end figure would be to “bring it up to a new building” standard.
“We already have a roof and windows done … so it doesn’t need everything,” she said of the 40-year-old facility.
“We will not bring in enough money at the door and will need municipal funding and hopefully with that funding, and corporate funding, we can do it.”
Bower said attendance for many of the pool’s programs has increased and people are coming from in and out of the county.
In addition, she said, the society is “being proactive” and seeking sponsors for signage in the facility as well as finding other ways in bring in even more swimmers.
“We are going after a 10-year lease … with that we can apply for capital infrastructure grants from the provincial and federal governments,” added Bower.
Colwell’s letter said the government would make a decision whether it will enter into a lease with the society by Aug. 30.