Push for pool brings out crowd

Aldergrove residents talk about their desire for an indoor swimming pool and other community facilities

Joanne Nicolato of the Aldergrove Recreation and Pool Association.

Joanne Nicolato of the Aldergrove Recreation and Pool Association.

Township Mayor Jack Froese and five councillors listened to several dozen Aldergrove residents talk about their desire for an indoor swimming pool and other community facilities Monday evening at the Aldergrove Elks Hall.

Joanne Nicolato and members of the Aldergrove Recreation and Pool Association — all of whom were also cast members of the Million Dollar Neighbourhood reality TV series — said that so far 99 per cent of 548 people polled want a new indoor pool. A solid majority would also like to see additional features in the facility, such as a fitness room, a weight room and an indoor track.

The group’s poll and petition continues until the end of April, said Nicolato, and is accessible on the group’s website at www.aldergrovereccenter.ca as well as at their upcoming hotdog fund-raiser at Otter Co-op, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The group will also be making a delegation to Township council on March 26 at 7 p.m. Mayor Froese and the councillors said they welcomed the promise of a delegation as this sort of community support was needed to make the project a council priority in upcoming budget discussions.

“Nothing will happen by itself,” said Froese. “It has to come from the community; the grassroots speaks volumes.”

Coun. Charlie Fox said negotiations with the province to purchase the former Aldergrove Elementary site for use as a recreational property are nearing a conclusion, but he noted there are not a lot of grants available for this type of project from senior levels of government.

Froese said there were many potential options for funding, however. He cited the case of an $11 million Ottawa theatre that was built at a cost of $1 million to taxpayers, by permitting a private developer to build 39 residential units for profit above the theatre.