Friday, August 28, 2009

Thanks, But No Thanks, Mayor Tells Pool Donors

By Alex Roslin

Brome County News

July 28, 2009

A wealthy group of benefactors offered to make a gigantic donation to the town of Brome Lake—possibly worth as much as $2.4 million—in order to build a pool near the Knowlton community centre, says mayor Richard Wisdom.

But the town turned down the offer. “I’m going to get in trouble for this, but I said, ‘no,’” Wisdom said. “Pools cost a fortune to maintain. It would be too big a hit for maintenance.”

Wisdom refused to name the donors or to reveal how much the maintenance bill might have come to. He said the donors had gone so far as to draw up plans for both indoor and outdoor pools.

The donation offer was made several months ago, but wasn’t widely publicized at the time, Wisdom said. The decision to reject it was made by “certain councilors, the mayor and community services,” he said.

Johanne Morin, executive director of the Brome Lake Recreation and Community Services department, put the annual operating cost of an outdoor pool at roughly $50,000 to $70,000—or about $9 to $12.50 per town resident. An indoor pool would cost $300,000 to $400,000 for annual upkeep, she said.

User fees and revenue from swimming classes would help defray costs, she said.

Morin said an outdoor pool would cost about $1 to $1.2 million to build or double that for an indoor facility—$2 to $2.4 million.

TAGS: Eastern Townships, Knowlton

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