KENILWORTH — The Wellington North council debated whether to go ahead with the replacement of the pool in Mount Forest at this time, during its Monday meeting.
With the 2023 budget, council will have the option to either go ahead with the new pool development or not move forward at this time.
Mayor Andy Lennox read comments from Coun. Steve McCabe, who could not attend.
McCabe felt that the pool is not as important as other aspects of infrastructure.
“The pool, love me or hate me, is not a priority. How is it? Again I go back to the value. In the overall management of the township where does a pool rank versus hard infrastructure or reinvesting in existing facilities, not building new ones,” read McCabe’s comments.
Coun. Sherry Burke stepped in to say that there is nonetheless support for the pool in Mount Forest.
“I think Coun. McCabe’s comments are fairly incorrect to the feeling of residents of Mount Forest. And I believe that, not just as chair of aquatics, it is something that the community wants,” Burke said.
Local resident Rick Sinnamon supported Burke’s statement that this matters to people.
“I have used the Mount Forest pool for a long time, in this community for 30 some odd years. And the only time I never used the pool was last year when it was shut down,” Sinnamon said.
Another local resident, Jessica McFarlane explained that making the trip to the community pool in Arthur is not realistic for many.
“I also signed up my child for swimming lessons last year. And we drove to Arthur. And the consensus seemed that there was a lot of parents that weren’t able to make the trip to Arthur,” McFarlane said.
As Lennox explained, the council and staff need to get to the point where a direction of the pool replacement can be supported by the majority of council members. Once that is done, a public meeting can be held.
Lennox also commented that if the community could support the project by fundraising $2.5 million for the pool, he would offer his own support for the project as mayor.
Jesse Gault is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.