Davidson Centre pool reno denied

Kincardine to apply for federal funding for rec centre roof

By Barb McKay


Proposed upgrades to the Davidson Centre aquatic centre, totalling nearly $2 million, didn’t pass muster with Kincardine council Aug. 8.


The recreation department’s plans for a massive renovation to the swimming pool, change rooms and administration offices at the recreation facility were turned down by council because they were seen as too expensive when there is already a long list of recreation projects on the books for the next four years.


The proposed upgrades to the aquatic centre would have included expanding and improving the family change rooms, installing a new steel pool insert, adding new slip resistant ceramic tile around the pool, adding acoustical wood accent panels and creating a leisure area, all at a cost of $1,385,926. The recreation department also proposed to move the administration offices to the main floor of the Davidson Centre to make them more accessible, at a cost of $418,234.


Recreation director Karen Kieffer told council last Wednesday that the reason the project had suddenly come up is because the federal government’s community infrastructure improvement fund will provide 50 per cent funding to qualifying projects, to a maximum of $1 million, and the deadline for applications is Aug. 24.


Councillor Randy Roppel said it is all well and good to receive government funding for a new project, but the municipality still needs to come up with the rest of the money.


“We still have to match it with taxpayers’ dollars,” he said. “Here we go again not finishing other projects.”


Roppel said there are several other recreation projects that are on the books, including the Inverhuron pavilion, and others that have been deferred because of lack of available funds in the budget, including the Davidson Centre roof.


Councillor Ken Craig, who is also the policy chair for the recreation department, reminded council that the current Davidson Centre administration offices aren’t wheelchair accessible and the pool hasn’t been improved since it was installed.


“It’s a shame to pass up 50 cents on the dollar for any community infrastructure project,” he said.


Councillor Maureen Couture said Kincardine should still try and take advantage of the infrastructure improvement funding, but apply for a project that the municipality already has on the books, such as the Davidson Centre roof, which is expected to cost upwards of $250,000.


“I like Maureen’s suggestion, to take a look at the roof,” said mayor Larry Kraemer. “The roof we know we need. I don’t think we have enough time to give (the aquatic centre upgrade) the consideration it needs.”


Roppel said another worthy project would be a new heating and cooling system for the Municipal Administration Centre, budgeted at $120,000 for 2014. Council requested staff to submit applications for both projects, but give priority to the Davidson Centre roof.