By Kenyon Stronski
Westwind Weekly News
Leading on from Settler Days, the good news doesn’t stop coming for the Village of Stirling who recently received Canada Community Revitalization Funding (CCRF) towards upgrades for their pool.
Scott Donselaar, Chief Administrative Officer for the Village of Stirling commented that the Village was successful in the application back in 2021, however they decided to delay the announcement until sometime after the Federal election.
“We did receive 50 per cent funding to do upgrades to our pool so we’re putting in just around $680,000 worth of upgrades to our pool facility to increase energy efficiency and repair older infrastructure and we’re really excited about that because it’ll increase the longevity of the facility.”
Donselaar noted the boilers are at the end of their life, a solar heating component is being added and the liner is being re-done.
“We’re getting a liner and redoing the whole surface which will hopefully decrease our water consumption immediately so we’re sinking a lot of money into doing key renovations that will help it be sustainable over time.”
“The pool is always a hot topic of conversation when we had to have it closed over COVID the public was not happy. When it’s your largest amenity in your community you really notice when it’s not operating.”
For some background, Donselaar said, to the best of his knowledge, that the pool was built sometime in the 80’s and knows that around 15 years ago was when the pool underwent its last large renovations.
“They did a bunch of upgrades to it in and around those years ago and now we’re at the point where the work they did to it is reaching end-of-life. We had to do something with it. With the CCRF funding we’re fortunate to obtain that because it’s allowing us to add things that will hopefully bring the operating cost down so it will bridge the gap between revenues and deficits.”
Moving onto happenings in Village council, Donselaar said there aren’t many large motions that have been passed – with most being minor operational motions; however the Village is planning on hosting an Open House.
“I know we will be doing the Community Open House on September 14. We’ll have a lot of departments represented, our capital plan in place, our infrastructure master plan, and we’ll explain the direction the council is going in and why. How we’re addressing our infrastructure issues, we’ll have all the departments represented so people can engage with the whole nine yards and it will be as comprehensive as possible.”
Council’s big highlight comes from the re-doing of their Municipal Development Plan which Donselaar stated hasn’t been updated since 2008.
“Our Municipal Development Plan received its first reading at the last council meeting so we will be doing a public hearing on September 7 for it. It’s a document that is horribly out of date. These are statutory planning documents and they reflect how we’re going to move forward with the village and I believe the last Municipal Development Plan document was 2008 and so it’s very out of date. We’ve done the process over the last year of obtaining public input and consultation on it so the draft copy received first reading at the last council meeting on July 13 so we will be moving forward with the public hearing September 7 and then council will be looking at the second and third reading. If it passes then we will be overhauling our Land Use Bylaw. There’s been a number of areas where our council as well as administration have identified where we can make changes to our Land Use Bylaw to improve it significantly and encourage development. We encourage hearing any thoughts on that as well.”
Public hearings are meant for the community to come in and speak for or against something being passed, and Donselaar said if there is anything anyone has to say – to come and express it to council.
“We did what we could to get as much input as possible to get the best document understanding it can’t run contrary to our Intermunicipal Development Plan. We got as much data as we could to build the document so if people review it and say they’re opposed to it – the public hearing is the last chance to express that to council.”