Vale Canada is giving the City of Thompson about 10 per cent of the expected cost of a new public pool through a four-year gift agreement that was approved by council at their April 11 meeting.
The $2 million gift will be provided through equal instalments of $500,000 per year from 2022 through 2025.
The estimated cost of building a new pool is about $20 million and where most of that money will come from remains an open question, though the city has been putting into reserve money that formerly went toward operating the Norplex Pool, which was shut down permanently in February 2019, just a few months after the current mayor and council were sworn into office.
Mayor Colleen Smook said getting a contribution of that size from Vale is helpful when approaching other potential funders, including provincial and federal government infrastructure programs, and Coun. Kathy Valentino concurred.
“This also gives us the opportunity as a city to leverage for more dollars,” she said, crediting Vale with listening during grant-in-lieu negotiations about the issues and financial constraints facing the city. “They did hear us and they do see the need in many areas of our city.”
In a press release announcing the gift and the now-approved four year grant-in-lieu agreement for 2022 to 2025, Gary Annett, head of Vale’s Manitoba Operations in Thompson, said the advantages of having a pool are numerous.
“A new pool provides many benefits for the physical, mental, emotional and social health of the community and surrounding areas,” he said. “Vale is very happy to play a role in helping it become a reality and improving Thompson’s quality of life.”