The Town of Princeton will have to hold its water on the proposal to build an indoor aquatic and wellness center.
However the project, which was discussed last week with provincial leadership at the Union of British Columbia’s Municipalities conference, is far from down the drain, according to Mayor Frank Armitage.
In an interview with The Spotlight Monday Armitage revealed previously unpublished details about the municipality’s plans to construct the indoor pool on Bridge Street, across from Save On Foods.
He said the cost for construction will be $27 million, but that’s contingent on the town receiving $11 million from both provincial and the federal governments.
Such a deal would leave Princeton to shoulder $5 million in capital costs.
“Our presentation I felt went very well. The minister was very attentive and asked good questions and we had good answers.”
He said council was told there could be no firm funding promises until the March 2018 budget cycle.
“I am confident,” he said. “They were supportive and committed to working with the town to complete the application of funding in the next round of federal and provincial infrastructure [grants].”
The town finished its feasibility study and conceptual plans for the aquatic center in late spring, and was planning to hold a public meeting in June to present the information to the community.
Just over $109,000 was budgeted this year for the planning process.
The public meeting was postponed after the BC Liberals were defeated at the polls – putting into question the government’s support for the plan.
The feasibility study has not yet been released to the public. Late last year council indicated – through CAO Rick Zerr – that they were looking at spending between $10 and $12 million.
“We’ve added an indoor walking track,” said Armitage. “The need for that was very strongly emphasized by the members of our committee.”
Armitage acknowledged the consultants originally suggested a walking track was an expensive addition to the pool.
“But it fits and it’s part of our plan…It’s important for people to have a place to walk indoors year-round, especially of course in the winter.”
It is now a matter of waiting for the governments to respond, he said.
“We haven’t got much else we can do. We have to get that [funding commitment] fairly defined with those people and I’ll be in touch with the minister to see what we can do to press on.”