Municipality to take on sole operation of Aquatic and Wellness Centre

The Town has chosen a “Made in Saugeen Shores” approach to running its new Aquatic & Wellness Centre.  On Monday night (March 13), the  Committee of the Whole approved a plan for the municipality to take on operating the state-of-the-art facility.

The decision allows the administration to hire qualified staff to manage and market the facility’s programs and amenities.  It also allows the Town greater oversight and control of the facility’s operating budget and to make sure any operational decisions align with Town priorities.  In addition, it gives the Town the flexibility to set its membership rates and user fees at levels that benefit both residents who use the facility and taxpayers at large.

“This model allows us to put the needs of residents first,” says Mayor Luke Charbonneau. “By keeping the operation ‘in-house’, we can set user fees that appropriately offset operating costs while ensuring the facility is accessible to all.”

Staff included a costing model in the plan that sees the tax levy cover the operating costs for the first few years of operation.  The forecast shows the facility will begin to pay back its initial start-up costs by 2027 and fully recover those costs by 2030.  These operating costs are separate from construction costs, which do not affect the tax levy.

The state-of-the-art facility will feature an eight-lane 25m swimming pool, a walking track, full-sized gymnasium and fitness centre, along with new community spaces and new office space for the growing municipality administration.

Council is set to approve the plan on March 27th with construction on the facility set to begin in 2023 for an opening date in 2025.

To read the full Staff Report, CLICK HERE.