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Charles Pender maintains provincial and regional support needed before new pool can happen

Pender
Pender

A suggestion by Corner Brook MHA Gerry Byrne that there is money Corner Brook could pursue to build a new swimming pool does nothing to change the mind of the city on the issue.

The city has said a new pool is not among its priorities right now and that any effort to build one has to be a regional one.

Byrne said if the notion is because of finances, or a lack of them, then there are avenues out there. That includes existing funding from the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs and federal funding under the Small Communities Fund, a cultural and recreational fund, and even the Northern and Remote Communities Fund.

“Money is always an issue, but when you’re partnering with federal and provincial governments, cost sharing with federal and provincial governments, the question about the money becomes a lot easier to answer,” he said.

With the opportunities that are available, Byrne said he encourages the city to continue to work with stakeholders to explore the options.

“Because money is not as significant an issue as what it might have been perceived before.”

But Mayor Charles Pender said those pots of money usually require that the province contribute as well.

“So without the province coming forward and saying they’re willing to contribute, it’s a moot point.”

Pender said with the financial situation the province is in the amount of municipal capital funding is limited. The city’s allocation has been reduced and the municipal portion of cost-shared projects has increased.

In addition to needing a commitment from the province, Pender said, the communities around the city also have to provide financial support for the construction and operation of a new facility.

The YMCA of Western Newfoundland Humber Community is still working on creating a regional partnership with area municipalities to undertake a feasibility study for a new pool.

Executive director Christine Young hopes to meet with representatives from Corner Brook, Massey Drive, Mount Moriah, Steady Brook and possibly Pasadena in the next few days.

“The feasibility study is the key, because that will give you the model,” Young said — a model that she hopes is for a regional facility with the YMCA as a tenant.

She said the YMCA has the capacity to contribute to the facility and an operating model that’s proven and works.

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