The Bonnyville Swimming Pool made waves on Friday by announcing they’re receiving a $125,000 grant from the provincial government towards maintenance upgrades and upkeep. The presentation by MLA Scott Cyr, Bonnyville-Cold Lake, confirmed that Bonnyville council’s application sent last fall had been granted by the province’s Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP).
Cyr points out that since some applications he sees don’t receive funding, it makes this grant a bonus for the community. It’s also a sign that Alberta recognizes the importance of “getting our kids active.”
“Unfortunately there’s only so much funds, which is why this is so exciting because we competed against other communities for funds, and we came out on top,” said Cyr.
“I have to thank the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Miranda for considering us, because without his support to our local community we wouldn’t have seen this money.”
Recently, the Town of Bonnyville’s recreation survey results reported that the majority of community members want a new swimming pool. The survey was done in preparation for another grant – this time federal, Investing in Canada’s Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Mayor of Bonnyville, Gene Sobolewski still believes the pool has a lot of life left in it.
“As a result of the survey we may have to re-focus a little bit, and see what kind of other opportunities can we use inside the existing facility to help address some of the needs of the community,” said Sobolewski.
Five years ago, the town began noticing some failures with the facility, and since have made the pool a spending priority, which this grant will help offset. Work began two years ago on the heating and ventilation system, the circulation pipes, the plumbing that supplies the main water service to the pool, and the filtration system.
The focus has now shifted to the roof, which was budgeted for in 2017. Not to mention improvements to the dressing rooms, improving the customer service experience to make it more family-friendly, and adding more spray-play features. Also, council is looking at a mechanism for physically-challenged individuals to access the pool.
“Over the next five years the town is moving forward and getting funds from the province and the MD,” said Mayor Sobolewski.
“This money will help offset money that we’re already putting in. The council will see what else we can squeak out to be able to do additional improvements. We’ll work on our 2019 budget continuing to do work and maintenance on it, and likely a big spend coming in 2020. What we’re thinking about is a two-million dollar upgrade.”
Bill Rogers, CAO of Bonnyville town council, said this helps the town finish what they’re already started.
“We’re confident that this year is going to see a lot of nice things happen in the way of improvements, and I’d just to say to people stay tuned. We’re going to do our best to make sure that this continues to be a great place for families to come and enjoy themselves.”
Currently, the hot tub is closed until further notice for repairs.