The Burns Lake Swimming Pool Society chose to keep the society afloat and to continue to strive for a community pool last week.
As reported in the Lakes District News edition of Dec. 7, 2011, past society president Frits Goossen said a decision should be made about whether the society should disband, or continue to work towards raising the funds for a community pool.
If the society chose to disband, they would also have to decide what to do with more than $50,000 held in their account.
The society was officially formed on March 22, 2000, and has been working towards fundraising for a community pool ever since.
Their annual general meeting was held last week at the College of New Caledonia and members of the public were also invited to come along to participate in the discussion, however only a modest number of people turned up.
Goossen said he is still in favour of building a community pool. “I know a lot of other people are too,” he said adding, that if the decision was made to continue on with the society, he would have to step down as society president, mainly due to health reasons, but would continue on as a director.
“Personally I want to see the society keep going. We have more than $50,000 in our account and I think that is an attribute to all the members, past and present,” he said.
Sandra Barth said she would also dearly love to have a pool in the community however she felt that the community could not afford the upkeep.
“I just can’t see how the community can afford a venue with such expensive overheads. The building of the facility is actually the smallest part and it is the most visible part,” she said, adding that it is much easier to fundraise when people can see something being built. Barth said she had concerns about how the funds would be raised to maintain a pool, after construction.
“You would need personnel to work at the venue, water testing, programming, insurance …. you would need to find a major corporate sponsor just for the operational costs.”
She said Houston and Smithers are struggling with the upkeep of their community pools. “There are other viable recreational possibilities that would honour the generous donations people have made towards a community pool.”
Goossen asked for a motion to be made to keep the society running and work towards a pool. Nine people supported the motion, while three voted against it, preferring to disband the society.
As a result, the society is now set to continue.
Local resident Martina Zechendorf stepped up to the plate to take on the role of society president. She said she feels that a pool is vital to the local community and said fundraising efforts should be increased.
Goossen agreed, suggesting that the society look into cardboard recycling. He said Zechendorf should also contact Twisters Car Wash as they previously had an agreement to collect any cans and bottles for recycling that were discarded by customers at the business.
It was also suggested that the society contact Enbridge Northern Gateway to sponsor a community pool.
“I have looked into this and the outlook is very favourable, they like to fund community projects like this,” Goossen said.
Society members suggested using the money towards a therapeutic pool, rather than a community pool.
Goossen said while he didn’t know how much a therapeutic pool would cost, he felt it was an option for the funding and asked Zechendorf to look into the possibility.
“A therapeutic pool is portable and has a treadmill underwater,” he explained.
Maria Varga, Burns Lake Swimming Pool Society director suggested that if the decision was made to purchase a therapeutic pool it could be located at the proposed Burns Lake Medical Society’s clinic.
Varga said the society is now looking into locating the clinic at the Muriel Mould Neighbourhood Learning Centre as the space would be ideal for the proposed clinic.
Directors also discussed the possibility of loaning the $50,000 to the Burns Lake Medical Clinic Society in the interim.
Currently the money is receiving only minimal interest.
Goossen said that by loaning the money to the medical society for a one year term they may be able to gain more interest.
“I think an honest rate for a loan would be three per cent. It would be advantageous to us and it would also help the society.”
Barth suggested they look further into the rules and regulations of loaning money, before any decision is made.
Directors agreed and decided to further discuss the issue at their next meeting. A date for the meeting has not yet been determined.