Pool project gets federal funding

The Town of Rimbey has received a major boost in its plan to upgrade and expand the town’s swimming pool.

The Town of Rimbey has received a major boost in its plan to upgrade and expand the town’s swimming pool.

The federal government announced funding of $750,000 for the $2.25-million project, said Blaine Calkins, MP for Wetaskiwin.

The money comes through the Recreational Infrastructure Canada program, which is part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

Calkins said the funding will help improve a vital recreational infrastructure asset in Rimbey.

Russ Wardrope, chief administrative officer for the town, said work is expected to begin in a few months.

Wardrope said work will involve replacing the outdoor pool tank to house a leisure pool, junior Olympic-sized pool, waterslide, spray park, change rooms, staff office, first aid room and storage and mechanical rooms.

The current facility is about 40 years old.

He said the changes will give the community a modern and more energy efficient facility.

The improvements will provide more accessible recreational services and help the town meet its goal of increasing the participation level among the public.

He said the County of Ponoka has pledged $500,000 if the project goes ahead.

Wardrope was pleased with the announcement.

“We have a good start. The $1.25 million is more than half” of the projected cost, he said.

Applications for grants will also be made to the province.

“The remaining $1 million will be made through fundraising or grants,” Wardrope said.

He said once the project starts, the outstanding costs would be debentured, if necessary.

One of the stipulations of the federal grant is the project must be finished by March 2011.

Calkins said one of Ottawa’s aims is creating immediate jobs and building stronger, healthier communities.

He said the federal government support “will allow Rimbey’s families both young and old to enjoy a modern outdoor water sports facility for many generations.”

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com