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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Home News Budget Kinsmen Water Park and Frank Dunn Pool still seeing plenty of use

Kinsmen Water Park and Frank Dunn Pool still seeing plenty of use

Kinsmen Water Park and Frank Dunn Pool still seeing plenty of use
Students prepare for a swim at the Frank J. Dunn Swimming Pool inside Carlton -- Herald File Photo

During the last day of the City’s 2023 Budget Deliberations, Council discussed the impacts of the new aquatic and arenas recreation centre on Prince Albert’s existing swimming pool and what’s in store for the future of the Kinsmen Water Park.

Built in 1973, the Frank J. Dunn Swimming Pool is located inside Carlton Comprehensive High School and jointly operated by the City and the Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division. Per a contract with Sask. Rivers, the City is responsible for 62 per cent of the facility’s operating costs and 50 per cent of the capital costs. Their proposed 2023 budget of $518,220 was approved by Council, with almost half of the facility’s expenses going to salaries, wages and benefits and the other half going to maintenance, materials and supplies.

Coun. Blake Edwards said the number one request he heard during his 2016 campaign was the need for a new aquatics centre, and that the City is long overdue in replacing the half a century old pool.

“It’s such a positive addition to Prince Albert,” Edwards said. “In just two short years, our citizens can be thankful to enjoy the beautiful facility that’s coming.”

Former principal of Carlton High School, Ward 7 Coun. Dawn Kilmer thanked the school division for upkeeping the nearly 50-year-old swimming pool.

“I heard that the people who work for the school division have done an amazing job keeping that facility running,” said Kilmer. “Kudos out to the 50 years that that pool has done good serving our community.”

Councillor Terra Lennox-Zepp added that the pool is always busy with families taking swimming lessons, and they all show a great appreciation for what the facility offers to Prince Albert.

Frank Dunn wasn’t the only aquatics centre packed with families taking swimming lessons in 2022, the Kinsmen Water Park online registration was filled up within minutes, said Lennox-Zepp.

“I had families telling me this is a great program, it’s really well done,” she said. “What we’re putting on is really high quality.”

Director of Community Services, Jody Boulet, said the Kinsmen Water Park experienced a good season this year, even with a cooler start to the weather at the beginning of the facility’s opening. The park recorded 30,000 visits during its 2022 operational season.

Because the budget is required to be submitted to the City before the facility’s season is finished, Boulet needed to make two recommendations to Council regarding an adjustment to the park’s final revenue figures.

For a total increase of $30,000, concession revenue was increased to $75,000 from the $65,000 recorded in the budget report, and general revenue relating to admissions and rentals was increased to $170,000 up from $150,000.

“This is a good example of a location that has returns and then some to pre-pandemic numbers,” said Boulet.

Coun. Terra Lennox-Zepp had some suggestions for the Kinsmen Water Park, including more advertisements for promotional nights to increase public knowledge.

Over the summer, the Kinsmen Water Park offered a lowered attendance rate during the last hour the park was open and hosted two Movie and Swim nights sponsored by Lake Country Co-op, which were both huge successes. In past years, the facility offered a ‘Toonie Tuesday’ special, with guests only required to pay $2 for regular entry. Mayor Greg Dionne asked that the Community Services Department inquire about finding a sponsor to get the promotional day going again for the 2023 season.

“That was a very popular program, and it was good for our community,” said Dionne.

The Kinsmen Water Park’s 2023 Budget was approved by City Council for a total of $220,020, mainly relating to staff costs for lifeguards and the maintenance associated with operating the park.