Crowds increase at Tecumseh Pool after city grant announcement, officials say

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The Tecumseh Pool is getting busier after a slow start to Canada Day, a YMCA spokesperson said.

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The Tecumseh Pool is getting busier after a slow start to Canada Day, a YMCA spokesperson said.

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“Now we see more people passing by as word spreads,” said Paul Skuza.

The City of Sarnia’s July 8 decision to subsidize pool fees by 60% could likely help.

“The numbers are starting to go up a bit,” Skuza said of the activity this week.

The pool at Cox Youth Center had cost $2 for free swim admissions in 2019, but that was increased to $5 when it reopened earlier this month.

Access was free in 2020 and 2021.

People have contacted city hall unhappy with the increased costs, said the city’s general manager of community services, Stacey Forfar.

“We certainly received feedback from the community and responded quickly and, I think, appropriately to provide support for the remainder of the summer,” she said of the fee reduction. $2 admission.

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The amount of this year’s pilot program grant will depend on usage, which likely depends on the weather, she said.

“Outdoor pools are so hit and miss,” she added.

Usage updates with the Y, which took over lifeguard duties at the pool after the Canadian Red Cross halted lifeguard training earlier this year, are expected every two weeks, it said. she stated.

A city report in May said the arrangement was expected to save the city about $100,000 this year.

The hope is that the community will make good use of the facility, Forfar said. The paddling pool has also been recently renovated and made free from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

“Things picked up last week,” she said of using the pool.

More updates are expected at the pool center as part of the $2.3 million park’s ongoing upgrades, including newly upgraded playground equipment and a new skate park planned for this fall, a said Forfar.

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A recent press release said the city recognizes the importance of people being able to access the pool to beat the heat and learn to swim, noting that free sponsored swims are also available on weekends.

When asked why there was no announcement about the price hike until the pool opened, Forfar described the city rushing earlier this year to strike a deal with the YMCA so that the pool can reopen.

The charity also has an existing grant scheme for members which is income based.

“It was a quick turnaround in the spring, and we kind of focused on the programming model itself, recognizing that the (YMCA) grant program would capture anyone who couldn’t afford the pricing model,” Forfar said.

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“So he’s responded to that intention to provide the programming at that price but, again, we certainly got some feedback and we’ve just returned to the 2019 price.”

Expect a decision later this year or early next year on how Access will look in 2023, she said.

“It’s a really big operation,” Skuza, general manager of the Jerry McCaw Family Center, said of running the extra pool. The Y has run one from the Finch Drive center for years.

“To take on a pool, you need a lot of layers,” Skuza said.

The two organizations are expected to report back in the fall on how things went, he and Forfar said.

Skuza noted that the YMCA is happy to work with the City of Sarnia

The swimming pool remains open until August 28th.

Details are available at sarnia.ca/pool/aquatic-facilities.

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