No agreement yet on location for indoor aquatics centre in Saugeen Shores
There’s still no consensus around the Saugeen Shores council table as to where the new indoor aquatics facility should be built.
Council deferred a decision Monday night on a staff recommendation to complete a business plan for a new pool using the east side of the arena complex in Port Elgin as the preferred location.
Deputy Mayor Don Matheson said he’s not ready to sign off on The Plex as the location of the pool without having some questions answered, primarily whether there’s enough room to build the aquatics centre, as well as an additional ice surface.
He said the building boom in Saugeen Shores is creating a lack of ice time for winter sports and the east side of The Plex makes more sense for an ice surface because the existing dressing rooms are on the east side of the building. Matheson said if staff can assure him there’s enough room to accommodate both a pool and an additional ice surface, he could go along with supporting a pool at The Plex.
“I think we should be going at another place, I don’t think we have enough space, but if staff comes back and they do their work, which they will, and they tell us there’s enough space to do this, then I’ll go with the staff report,” said Matheson.
Mayor Luke Charbonneau opposed the motion to defer and said the pool debate has been delayed and deferred for more than a decade and there needs to be an answer so the municipality can pursue grants and private donations to help pay the multi-million dollar price tag.
“Let’s get a decision made, let’s make some funding applications, let’s raise the money and build the thing,” said Charbonneau. “I want to cast a vote in this term of council to construct a new aquatics centre in the Town of Saugeen Shores and if we move forward and avoid further delays, I believe we can get that done.”
Municipal staff are expected to return with additional information in time for the October 15 council meeting.