By Howida Sorour-Roberts
At the Smiths Falls special committee of the whole (COW) meeting held on Aug. 2, discussion regarding the fate of the community pool located at the Gallipeau Centre dominated the meeting.
In the end, four out of six councillors voted to enter into a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Smiths Falls and District Aquatic Recreation Centre (ARC), similar to the agreement the town had with the HUB, but to a limit of $18,000.
“I have given this a lot of thought over the weekend, and I will support the community pool for a maximum of $18,000 in matching funds, but I am supporting it in the hope that it will give you the opportunity to get the pool up and running and keep it running. I want to know where the money is going and how it is being spent,” said Dawn Quinn, Smiths Falls councillor.
The initial request from the ARC had been for $24,000 in matching dollars to match the full $12,000 community donation promised by Merrickville-Wolford and the $12,000 pledged by Montague. However since Merrickville-Wolford had released the first installment of $6,000 to the Hub, the town is choosing not to match that money but will match any subsequent municipal donations to the entity known as ARC.
“I’m relieved. It’s not all we wanted but my initial feeling is we can scratch our way through, because we’ve also had two more donations of $1,000 each in recent days,” said Carol Coté, vice-chair of ARC.
A bylaw authorizing staff to enter into an M0U with ARC was passed at the regular council meeting immediately following the COW.