Wellington North has confirmed it will decommission the old pool in Mount Forest and build a new one at a cost of over $5 million.Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It’s official: with support from the Mount Forest Lion’s Club, the town is getting a new pool…once staff get a price to decommission the old one.

Town council approved a motion Monday night to proceed with decommissioning the closed pool and rehabilitating the property in advance of a new pool.

Staff will come back to council with pricing on that step.

Moved by Coun. Stephen McCabe and seconded by Coun. Lisa Hern, McCabe shared that the replacement of the pool comes with a “heavy heart,” but that it’s a “cathartic” step in the “right direction” for Mount Forest.

“I was talking to my mother the other day and she remembers when I had went up and took swimming lessons there. And that was many, many moons ago,” said McCabe. “So it’s sad to see a landmark like that go but I know decommissioning (the pool) and getting a price to decommission it is a step in the right direction.”

Hern agreed, especially moved by the Mount Forest Lion’s Club presentation, who celebrated its 85th anniversary earlier in the meeting.

“It sort of seems like the end of an era,” said McCabe. “But moving forward, we’re going to have a nice new facility that the Lions Club will contribute and be a part of as well.”

In an attempt to show her support for the new pool being built, longtime Mount Forest resident, Shelley Weber, created a Facebook group to share some history about the town, including the pool.

“I spent the morning at swimming lessons, afternoons at public swimming, then swim team practice, home for dinner then back for a night swim,” said Weber. “The pool was always a busy place.”

Formerly known as the “Municipal Pool,” Mount Forest‘s first town pool was fundraiser, and paid for by the local Lions Club. After Lion’s Club member, Roy Grant saw how dangerous it was for the youth in the community to swim in the river without a lifeguard, the group agreed to build a pool.

“My mother grew up in Mount Forest and spent her childhood at the Saugeen River. Sometimes they swam at Pike Lake but she said they had water snakes,” former Mount Forest resident Doriann Seifried commented on the post. “I’m sure the kids were very happy to have a pool..it was always a popular spot.”

According to Weber, the pool was later rebuilt in 1967, by the Lions Club, becoming the L-shaped pool many residents know and love.

However, others are sick of council members dragging their heels with what they feel is a simple decision.

“This ‘planning’ has been going on for years. ‘we can’t do this till we do that’ type of thing,” commented Ruth Noonan Truax. “I agree that a basic pool would be a great start and add extras later. We really need this in town.”

The total cost of the new pool is estimated at $5.3 million. The possible fundraising targets are $250,000, $1 million, or $2.5 million.

By Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 18, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   GuelphToday.com   Guelph, Ontario
Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated

Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated