The Mount Forest Aquatics Ad-Hoc Advisory Committee is looking for volunteers! To find out how you can help, contact Councillor Sherry Burke:
1. Where is the location of the new pool?
The future home of the Mount Forest outdoor pool will be located on the east side of the Mount Forest & District Sports Complex, 850 Princess Street.
- Why is the price tag so big?
Pool construction is a special trade with a limited number of contractors to bid and complete the work. Construction costs, including materials, has inflated substantially over the last number of years.
For comparison’s sake, the City of Burlington just rebuilt their outdoor pool, at the price of nearly $7 Million. This pool is bigger than the outdoor pool proposed in Mount Forest but did not include any buildings. The $7 Million is for the pool and pool deck only.
Similarly, the City of Welland, is reconstructing their outdoor pool at a cost of $6.57 Million, for the pool and deck only.
- Why is it an outdoor vs an indoor pool?
From Wellington North’s 2018 Recreation Master Plan:
In terms of indoor pools, the closest public facilities are located in Fergus and Hanover, generally a 20 to 30-minute drive for most residents. Despite some interest expressed by residents through the online survey, indoor pools are seldom provided by small to mid-sized communities. Municipal indoor pools require annual subsidies typically ranging from $250,000 to $500,000* depending on the type of pool and the market it serves. Furthermore, depending on site and pool design, construction costs could exceed $10 million*.
One alternative that has been raised by the public is the potential long-term enclosure of an outdoor pool; this option has been studied by many municipalities, and very few projects have been found to be financially or operationally feasible.
In either case, the development of an indoor swimming pool would require substantial fundraising and would result in a sizable tax increase for residents. From our experience, the Township lacks the population and tax-base to offset these substantial costs, thus an indoor pool is not recommended. This recommendation is offset by the recent and proposed investment in the Township’s outdoor pools, which provide seasonal opportunities for swimming lessons and recreational use.
*Based on data from 2018.
- Why can’t the old pool be fixed?
Due to the extent of the repairs required to the pool itself, the complete rebuild required for the building, the lack of a parking lot and parking space, and the previous decisions and opinions from the public, council and staff members, the decision was made to rebuild the pool in a more suitable location that could adhere to all safety and accessibility standards.
5. How much of the property tax increase is for the pool?
Based on a $300,000 home, which is the average MPAC assessment of Wellington North residential dwelling, the tax increase that is specific to the pool is $60 per year.
The tax increase that relates to the pool will vary with MPAC assessments. If the property is assessed lower than $300,000, the levy dedicated to the pool will be lower than $60 per year and vice versa, if higher than $300,000 the increase will be higher than $60 per year.