© Ashley Thompson
A group of citizens has rallied together to try to raise enough money to open the public pool on the Hantsport Memorial Community Centre grounds without operational funding from the Town of Hantsport.
A citizen group in Hantsport is trying to throw the community pool a lifeline.
Undeterred by council’s recent decision to cut pool funding from the budget this year, some citizens of Hantsport are now fundraising to try to come up with enough money to operate the pool this summer.
“There’s a lot of people around that grew up and had the pool available to them in their youth, and that have kids here that they would like to be able to provide that service for,” said Nick Zamora, a spokesperson for the group.
“And also, kids in the town themselves that are disappointed that they may not have a place to swim this summer.”
He said news of the impending pool closure brought about 20 to 25 people together for a citizen-led brainstorming session prior to town council voting against providing operational funding for the pool May 20.
“It seemed to take people by surprise a little bit. It was felt maybe that more notice could have been given so that an effort such as this could have been started.”
The group asked council to provide them with a $7,500 grant to run the pool, and a donation of the water to fill it. Council voted 3-4 against the fulfilling the grant request.
Now it’s back to the drawing board for the group insistent on giving those who want to spring off the pool’s diving board this summer the chance to do so.
As a fundraising campaign kickoff, there will be a Save Our Pool Party barbecue at the Hantsport Memorial Community Centre grounds May 25 from 3-5 p.m.
Zamora said they are still working out the costs associated with operating the pool, searching for possible grant opportunities and planning future fundraising activities. Suggestions, he added, are welcome.
“We want to find out how much community support we have and what ideas people might have.”