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Repair of Powassan pool 'a priority'

Outdoor swimming facility needs repairs but won’t be shut down, mayor says

POWASSAN, Ont. — Powassan Town Council has directed staff to identify what repairs are necessary for the municipal outdoor pool.

Staff will collect information, including what an inspection of the pool finds later this month, and get that report to the council at a future meeting.

Councillor Dave Britton raised the status of the pool at the most recent council meeting, saying the municipality needs to find a path to success for the pool, which could include fundraising initiatives.

“The pool has represented the best of this community for nearly 70 years,” Britton said. “Many kids learned to swim there. There’s aqua fitness there and recreation.”

While McIsaac said he had no doubt all of the council supported the pool and that it brought value to the community, he cautioned council about introducing fundraising initiatives as a means to support the pool.

“I don’t think we need to fund raise,” McIsaac said.

McIsaac said when people hear that council may consider fundraising initiatives to help the pool, “they think council is not behind the pool and that’s not the case.”

Just before the pool closed for the season at the end of August, McIsaac said there were adults at the facility talking to each other while their kids were swimming.

Somehow the conversation evolved into a belief that council had “talked about closing the pool,” said the mayor. “But that’s never been discussed.” 

McIsaac added he was shocked to learn people were talking about the pool this way.

He believes people concluded that when the idea of fundraising for the pool first surfaced, it gave the perception council didn’t support it.

“The pool is a priority and I think everyone at this (council) table agrees it’s a priority,” McIsaac said.

He said council should wait for the report that will identify the work the pool needs and then look at allocating money in the 2024 municipal budget to see how it can “fix the pool.”

The local Lions Club created the pool in 1957 through several fundraisers. After it was built, it turned ownership and maintenance of the facility to the municipality.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.