Town to apply for swimming pool improvement grant

  • May. 26, 2009 7:00 a.m.

Staff

If everything goes as planned, those you enjoy dipping their toes in the cool water or doing a few laps to get into shape might just be seeing some major improvements and additions to the Rimbey Swimming Pool soon.

An application to the federal government’s Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program – also known as RINC, has been submitted by the Town of Rimbey with the intent of fixing up the local swimming pool, which was first constructed in the mid 1960-s.

“There’s a new program that just came down before our last council meeting called RINC and it’s a federal program to support renovations of recreational facilities,” said Mayor Dale Barr. “For the last three, four even five years back – sometimes even further back, council has always been reviewing our swimming pool to see what direction we can possibly go. We’ve evaluated the indoor pool situation and it’s simply not affordable for our community.”

He said while an indoor, all-season swimming pool would be ideal, the tax burden on residents would simply be too large so the Town has opted to renovate the existing pool. Barr added that indoor pools require a much large tax base of up to three times the size of Rimbey’s with a population of between 7,000 and 8,000 citizens.

As for how the revamped pool might look or what it will feature, Barr said it’s too early to tell and they’ve got some business to take care of first before looking at the fine details.

“We don’t have a finalized plan at this point. We had to put something together quickly because this grant program is only open for three weeks. They basically want what they call, ‘shovel-ready’ projects and certainly the age of our pool fits within the criteria and what we did is work with the other municipalities and pool experts in the province to put a plan in that would be close to what we want,” Barr said.

“We certainly want to go back to the public and discuss this before we go ahead with the project, but with the deadline at the end of May, we’re going to take a step forward and try to grab the grant money that’s available right now,” he added. “If we’re successful – and there’s no guarantee we will be with this grant, then we’ll come back to the community and say we want to go ahead with the project and what’s everybody’s support like.”

Ideally, Barr said the pool would feature a zero-entry similar to a beach, along with water-park features and a larger water slide upon completion of the project.