At the sixth attempt, County council agrees on how much to provide the Town of Vulcan towards new swimming pool

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It took six motions March 10 before Vulcan County council could agreed on just how much cash — $300,000 in the end — to splash on Vulcan’s new swimming pool.

After Vulcan Town council had two days earlier asked County council for an interest-free loan to cover a $2.5-million loan for the pool, the item was added to the agenda of Vulcan County’s March 10 meeting.

Behind closed doors, County council discussed a potential contribution to the capital project.

And then the motions started being made.

First, Coun. Shane Cockwill moved that Vulcan County do as the Town of Vulcan requested, providing an interest-free loan of $2,512,717 for the construction of the new pool over a 25-year term. As part of Cockwill’s motion, he asked that the Town of Vulcan recognize Vulcan County’s contribution of $940,489 in interest savings.

Motion defeated.

Then Coun. Laurie Lyckman moved that the County provide the Town of Vulcan with $940,489, with the funds to be drawn from Vulcan County’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) capital funding. MSI capital funds are grants provided to municipalities, which can use them for a variety of infrastructure and building projects.

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Motion defeated.

The third motion came from Deputy Reeve Doug Logan, who moved that Vulcan County provide the Town of Vulcan with $604,199, with the funds to be drawn from MSI capital funding.

Motion defeated.

The fourth motion was put forward by Coun. Ryan Fleetwood, who moved that Vulcan County provide the Town with $250,000, with the funds to be drawn from MSI capital funding.

Motion defeated.

Cockwill then tried again, with a fifth motion that asked County council to provide a $500,000 contribution to the Town for the pool. Again, the funds would come from the County’s MSI capital allocation.

Motion defeated.

But then Fleetwood moved that Vulcan County provide the Town of Vulcan with $300,000 to be drawn from the County’s MSI capital funding.

And finally, at the sixth attempt, council approved a motion to provide funding for the pool.

Reeve Jason Schneider said Friday the funds for the new pool are on top of dollars the County is willing to provide — roughly $1 million over four years — towards recreation in Vulcan, said Schneider. That’s a significant contribution, he added.

Deciding on the amount of a capital contribution for the pool was a “difficult” conversation for council to have at a time when Vulcan County is facing numerous financial challenges, said Schneider.

“It’s the financial reality we’re living in at the moment,” said the reeve.

All municipalities are “feeling the squeeze” at the moment, he said.

“We’re cutting everything,” said Schneider about the County, adding that recreation funding is one area where council has decided to make cuts.

County council does not want to raise ratepayers’ taxes, said the reeve.

“We’ve put a lot of work into keeping our taxes as stable as possible,” said Schneider.

The reeve hopes that, once the economy turns around, Vulcan County will be in a good position to attract businesses.

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