After reading a report, on the Scugog December 10th council agenda, about the Scugog budget survey results, it is pretty apparent to me that a lot of residents want an indoor pool built in the Township.
However, I think an indoor pool should not be a top priority for this new council, just yet.
For starters, this new council will soon be working on their first budget of the term, and have some priorities that should be higher on the list. Addressing roads should take up a large chunk of that budget.
Again, looking at the survey results, one thing that did come up a lot in the results was the concern about the current declining road conditions across the Township. This is nothing new, as there was plenty of talk among council members and residents the last few years about the Township’s roads and infrastructure deficit. This is something that should be largely addressed in the budget, and should be a much higher priority than a new pool.
Speaking of roads, maybe the township should move forward with the process to create a second access road to Scugog Island. This second access idea was brought up on the election campaign several times, and has been talked about and debated for over 10 years at least. The last couple accidents reported last month on Island Rd., that closed the road for a period time for the police investigation, should show why this second access project needs to move forward.
As, new Mayor, Bobbie Drew mentioned in her address at the inaugural meeting, the new council also wants to move forward with a plan for the waterfront lands. And, as was identified last term, there is a need to move forward with a plan for a new arena in Blackstock.
An indoor pool project would also likely come at a significant cost to the Township, and thus, if council moves forward immediately, it would add to a larger tax increase than the new council likely wants to start their term with.
It was also recommended, in March in a Township staff report, that an indoor pool be seen in the Township’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan as a “longer-term development plan”, which makes sense, as it gives council time to think about things, like how they want to fund the project.
In the interim, there are still indoor pools in Uxbridge and Oshawa, which residents can go to.
I’m not saying I think the Township should not move forward in the future with an indoor pool, but instead, I am saying that for the time being, this council should treat the idea of an indoor pool as a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘need to have’.
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Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy