Runnymede swims again

[attach]5403[/attach]The pool at Runnymede Collegiate Institute has been saved from the budget axe.

Council voted to continue evening and weekend programming at the pool during its Jan. 17 budget meeting. Typically, instructional and leisure swim is offered, as well as aquatic leadership courses and permitted use.

The pool was saved along with four other shared-use Toronto District School Board pools as part of an omnibus motion moved by Ward 15 councillor Josh Colle.

Doucette was thrilled when the motion passed. She notes approximately 50 percent of Runnymede’s students come from low-income families and without the pool may not have been able to find evening and weekend programming.

“I think what we’ve done is we’ve saved services for some of the people that desperately need those services or can’t afford options,” she said. “Everyone benefits from pools.”

Other threatened services in Doucette’s wards, such as High Park Zoo, were not included in Colle’s motion for practical reasons.

“If we came in with a motion that was $20 or $25 million, people would say ‘Ah, I’m not sure about that’,” Doucette said.

She believes the amended budget strikes a balance between prudent spending and making sure residents are satisfied with the services they receive.

“It was a reasonable motion that listened to the residents of Toronto,” she said. “These are the topics people were talking most about.”

In relation to the five shared-use Toronto District School Board pools, Ward 30 councillor Paula Fletcher made a motion that requested for the Toronto Lands Corporation to undertake a facility audit of the city-operated in-school pools, to work with the city manager to reduce the cost of the operating agreement and for the Aquatic Working Group and Let’s Make Waves to look into increasing permit revenue and maximizing program participants.

The city currently pays just over $6 million a year for the pools.