NEW REC CENTRE DISCUSSED AT RENFREW COUNCIL 5/17/2017 11:52:50 AM
It's a matter that simply won't fade away in the Town of Renfrew. A special council meeting called last night (Tuesday) addressed the pool project again. It's been an ongoing bone of contention for 50 years, which, according to Councillor Kate Windle has divided our community. Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Hill presented three potential projects for council to consider, a new recreation centre with an indoor pool, a new recreation centre with a second ice pad or a new recreation centre with an indoor pool and a second ice pad, all pitched for Ma-Te-Way Park. The presentation was thorough and included costs, revenues and impact on the tax base for each potential facility. Leo Hall, with the Ma-Te-Way Aquatic Centre Committee says he hopes the elected officials will take a very serious look at all their options.
The numbers that really impact the rate payers are the tax rates needed to pay for each facility. To build a second ice surface and a new rec centre would increase taxation by 1 percent, pool and rec centre by 5.6 percent and to build a facility with a rec centre, second ice pad and a pool would mean a 6.8 percent increase. That's above any increase required for the levy, for the next 30 years. A new recreation centre is a priority for the town, the current building will need over 700 000 dollars worth of work over the next 15 years and the building is not accessible. By 2025 all municipal properties will have to be barrier free. Parking is an issue too, for the current size of the building over 100 parking spots are required. To accommodate that kind of parking, the town would have to purchase five or six of the properties in front of the building, factoring in demolition and construction, total financial impact would be nearly 1.5 million dollars. It certainly will not be an easy discussion for council to have. Several surveys in the past indicate roughly 80 percent of those asked wanted a pool for recreational use and for the added health benefits. However, Cory Greer, owner of the Kanata Lasers Junior A Hockey Club is committed to relocating the franchise to Renfrew for the 2018/2019 season should a second ice surface be created. The Lasers have already scheduled 6 home games at Mateway for the up coming season. A timeline for the plan is expected to be revealed at the next council meeting, including potential details of a public meeting so residents can have their say and ask their questions.