The committee charged with planning a new pool in Queens still has no direction on how to go about that task.
Formed at the request of Region of Queens council the pool committee was never given a formal Terms of Reference to indicate what they should be doing. The committee wrote Terms of Reference based on those used for the library committee and presented them for approval at the last Region of Queens council meeting.
Mayor Darlene Norman says council voted not to approve the terms because the pool committee was told when it was created municipal staff did not have time to participate.
“When this committee was formed it was mid-way through our year,” said Norman. “This was never part of any budgeting and budgeting is more than just budgeting money, budgeting also budgets staff time.”
Some councillors felt a new pool should be given a higher priority after a private donor came forward with funding towards its construction. It was revealed during the last council meeting that contribution was in the neighbourhood of $3 million.
CAO Chris McNeill said it will likely be spring of 2023 before staff will be freed up to assist the pool committee.
In the meantime, Norman says the committee has a great deal of expertise and experience to offer.
“I am optimistic that when we get these things ironed out that that committee can be very helpful in some research. If they want to find more money for extra add-ons, if they want to deal with the biggest problem, which is staffing,” said Norman. “That truly is our largest problem when it comes to pools is the staffing component.”
Norman hopes using the clearer direction from council, the pool committee will come back to a future meeting with terms of reference that will allow them to get underway without involving municipal staff.
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