April 8, 2009
On April 4th, the District of Kitimat held the grand opening of the Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre. This major infrastructure project has been supported by Northern Development with a $1.65 million zero interest loan and a $30,000 grant via the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities funding program.
The major renovation of the pool cost close to $15 million. The pool incorporates a state-of-the-art mechanical air handling system, electrical system, and most importantly, a water system which will help to conserve water and limit the use of chlorine thereby making the water more comfortable for users. This new system is projected to reduce greenhouse gas by 442 metric tons of carbon emissions per year and reduce operating costs by consuming 8,016Gj less natural gas.
Northern Development’s $1.65 million loan for this project will return funds over the next 10 years to the District of Kitimat’s Northern Development account, allowing the community to invest in many more important initiatives in coming years and engage in further partnerships with the provincial and federal governments to support needed infrastructure in the community.
In front of a huge crowd, the new Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre opened with a ribbon cutting, following speeches and plaque unveilings by dignitaries. Making the official snip are (left-right): Maureen Boguski, grand daughter of Sam Lindsay; David Brown, chairman of the advisory recreation commission; Kailen Rigoni, 7, representing youth; Eylene Craven, president of the senior’s association; Steve Wilson, chief councillor of Kitamaat Village; Kitimat mayor Joanne Monaghan; hereditary chief Sammy Robinson; and former mayor Rick Wozney.
The District of Kitimat contacted Northern Development in early 2007 with this project and, like all successful community initiatives, this project is the result of strong partnerships between the District of Kitimat, Northern Development, the Province of BC, and the Federal Government of Canada. Over the course of this project, an estimated construction payroll of over $4.0 million has generated economic spin-off activities and additional revenues in both small business and local project supply companies in the District of Kitimat. Additionally, Kitimat anticipates that improvements to this facility will directly generate 9 permanent new jobs in the community.
Identified as a key component of the District of Kitimat’s long-term community plan, the Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will contribute to the District of Kitimat’s ability to generate local economic activity by attracting regional swim meets as well as attracting and retaining residents by supporting the great quality of life Kitimat already has to offer.
Northern Development provides a unique opportunity for both the northwest region and communities like Kitimat to have regionally-based support for identified key community economic development projects. The creation of Northern Development in 2005 by the Province of BC has provided northern BC communities with an important option to secure critical financing for major projects such as the Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre.
Photos courtesy of Kitimat Northern Sentinel and the District of Kitimat
By Cameron Orr – Kitimat Northern Sentinel – view this article online
Published: April 08, 2009 6:00 AM
“I just can’t stop smiling.”
Those words, spoken by former Kitimat Mayor Rick Wozney, aptly described the feeling of both the onlooking crowd and guests of honour at the official grand opening of the Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre.
Special guests of the opening were Mayor Joanne Monaghan, Chief Councillor Steve Wilson, MP Nathan Cullen, MLA Robin Austin, Dave Pernarowski with the Northern Development Initiative Trust, former Mayor Rick Wozney, Chairman of the Advisory Recreation Commission (ARC), and Hereditary Chief Sammy Robinson with Louise Barbetti and Rose Robinson.
Each made short speeches to commemorate the event, many crediting the city council, this one and the last, for the work in getting the project underway and finished.
Robin Austin called the new pool a stupendous facility while Nathan Cullen said investments such as the pool are investments in ourselves.
Monaghan gave thanks to old and new councillors and to Wozney for their work as well as thanked the administrative team of the city.
“It’s yours to utilize,” she said of the pool.
Sammy Robinson, Louise Barbetti and Rose Robinson blessed the new facility with a dance and song in the traditional Haisla language.
The speeches were all made in the Tamitik Arena where four plaques were unveiled just before the ribbon cutting.
One was a Sam Lindsay biography and picture, one was for the original Sam Lindsay Memorial Pool opening, another was of the new pool ground breaking and the last was for the official opening of the new pool.
Visitors to the opening were treated to food by the Marlin Swim Club and a free swim for the remainder of the afternoon and evening.