Town won’t lower pool fees

FORT FRANCES—After reviewing a list of requests submitted by the Fort Frances Aquanauts Swim Team last month, town council agreed Monday night to help the club out in a few ways.
While the town opted not to reduce the current pool rental rates, it will offer to mediate between the two local swim clubs—the Aquanauts and the Cyclone—and help them come together, read a report from Community Services manager George Bell.
“Although the [Community Services] executive committee understands and is very concerned over their deteriorating financial circumstances, we believe it is largely due to declining enrolment, which is partially created by the competition between the two existing swim teams,” Bell wrote in his report.
“We believe that our market cannot support two swim teams and again will make every effort to mediate a solution between the two clubs,” he added.
In the same report, Bell noted the town could offer its assistance in reviewing the club’s fee structure and offer advice.
As well, the report recommended allowing the club to cancel pool time with 14 days’ notice when the Aquanauts are away for swim meets, thus not forcing them to pay for pool time they won’t be able to use.
Bell noted the executive committee reviewed the town’s pool rental rates. And while they are “significantly higher” than those in Kenora and Dryden, they are consistent with the ice rental rates here (which also are higher).
As well, swim rental rates here equal 71 percent of the ice rental rates while the pool rental rates in Kenora are 67 percent of their ice rental rates, and thus relatively equal.
Bell also pointed out he looked over the fees charged per hour of instruction for other groups—and the Aquanaut competitive fee of $2.77/hour is “significantly less” than other groups.
In regards to an FFAST request that the town look into cost-saving measures at the poll, Bell noted the town regularly looks for ways to save money.
FFAST-suggested measures, such as a “pool blanket” to reduce pool heat loss and chlorine alternatives, either would be redundant with the existing heat recovery system (in the case of the blanket) or require changes to the mechanical system that would end up being major capital expenditures that would negate any cost savings (in the case of the chlorine alternative).
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•referred a request from the Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition for 2007 per capita funding to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
•referred a financial request from the “chem-free” grad committee to waive arena and auditorium rental fees for the 2007 Fort Frances High School “chem-free” grad party on June 21 to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
•referred a financial request from the Rainy River District Music Festival Association to sponsor the 67th Festival for the Performing Arts to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
•agreed to a request from the local chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society to proclaim April, 2007 as “Cancer Month” in the Town of Fort Frances; and
•referred a financial request from the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal regarding advertising in the “Pride of the North” promotional edition to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation.

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