QUEENS COUNTY – Executive members of the Queens County Aquatics Society (QCAS) had good news to present at the recently held annual general meeting.
According to membership coordinator Nathan Smart, the consultants' report that was commissioned earlier this year, with financial support from the Region of Queens and the province, has been received. The report studied the feasibility of building an indoor pool connected to the existing Queens Place Emera Centre facility, says Smart.
While the actual findings cannot be discussed until the report has been officially presented to the Region of Queens council, Smart says the following official statement was released.
“Burke and Oliver, pool consultants, recommended that the region consider a four-lane, 25 metre lane pool that maximizes shallow water to accommodate the widest range of aquatic ability. A separate, warmer pool, a waterfall, and long slide were also suggested. While recognizing the challenges in adding such a facility to the existing Queens Place Emera Centre, they also reported from research in similar areas that an aquatic centre can be a long-term asset to a small community. Pools are a particularly effective public investment as, provided they are properly designed and operated, they can accommodate a wider range of activities for of people of all ages and abilities than any other type of active recreation facility. A modern pool would help support the Relocate to Queens initiative.”
Funding is, of course, of utmost concern, says Smart. All efforts are being made by the region’s chief administrative officer and the society to seek three-quarters of the funding from outside the region.
The mandate of the QCAS is to bring an indoor pool to the Queens County area, says Smart. At present, this involves studying the feasibility of the project and raising public awareness and support. If the project is approved by council, the group is prepared to begin fundraising from various public and private sources.
At present, Smart says, the group is awaiting news of federal funding for recreation projects that it hopes to access for use toward construction of the facility. That $828 million infrastructure agreement between Nova Scotia and Ottawa was inked April 10, with funding going towards public transit, green infrastructure, culture and recreational uses over a 10-year period. The agreement also changes the cost-sharing agreement that has been in play in the past, with the federal government kicking in up to 60 per cent and the province chipping in its third, reducing the municipal contribution down to as little as seven per cent, a move aimed at making it simpler for rural municipalities to access federal funding for projects.
“Needless to say, we’re very excited,” Smart said about the agreement.
For now, the society is looking to grow its membership to show the community's interest and commitment to building a pool in Queens County.
“After presenting our consultants' report to council,” says Smart, “we expect there will be public meetings throughout Queens where our membership, and the community at large, will be able to discuss the project in depth.”
To become a member, people can sign up by following the link on the group’s Facebook Page, or directly from its website. Members will receive all the latest project news by email, but anyone can follow the Facebook page for regular updates.
More information: www.facebook.com/QueensCommunityAquaticSociety/