Recent meetings have been productive as the committee pushes forward to apply for a new Federal funding program
Thursday, June 10th, 2021 - Yarmouth, N.S. – Recent meetings of the Mariners Centre Expansion Steering Committee (MCESC) have seen several key decisions made to help move forward expansion efforts at 45 Jody Shelley Drive. The group representing all three municipal partners came to agreements on the submission of a revised federal funding application, a cost-sharing model for capital and operations, and requests to all three councils for steering committee funding to allow the project to keep moving forward. The group also agreed to an overall budget of $30 million for the expansion project.
The topic of submitting a refined funding application was discussed in detail. It was determined that the planned expansion and new aquatics centre fit the guidelines for a new federal funding program called the “Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program”. EXP of Halifax is an engineering, architecture, design and consulting firm that has provided service to the steering committee in the past with project scope and design objectives. The committee agreed to engage EXP once again to work with Town of Yarmouth Engineer Marc Brophy. Brophy and EXP will refine the building program and estimate for a new federal application under the Green and Inclusive Buildings Fund.
The committee also held a workshop on cost-sharing for both an expanded Mariners Centre, and the “Mariners on Main” bridge facility. The bridge facility has a planned reopening at 275 Main Street this fall. Committee members agreed on a model that covers both capital and operating costs for both facilities moving forward. Members also agreed that keeping the expansion effort moving forward without delay was crucial. In support of that effort, all three councils will be asked to allocate budget to assist the MCESC as it continues to advance the project.
Finally, an overall project budget for the expansion and aquatics centre was determined. The group agreed to a total budget of $30 million, split into two phases. The phases may be completed separately or at the same time.
"There is a strong buzz among the steering committee members right now,” said MCESC Chair Nicole Albright. “We have accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time. I am very pleased at how the project is coming together and the collaborative municipal partnership is the strongest it has ever been. This is an indication of the importance of this project to the region. We are seeing real positive traction with this regional project and we are collectively confident that the right team is working towards submitting a strong application to support it.”
The determination of whether the expansion project can happen still rides on obtaining funding. There is still much work to be done to obtain that funding and see the start of a project, but the committee is committed to working together to make it happen as soon as possible.
About the Steering Committee
The Steering committee is a group of 9 elected and 5 ex officio members from the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth, the Town of Yarmouth, the Municipality of the District of Argyle, and Mariners Centre. The members are:
Municipality of Yarmouth
Warden John Cunningham
Deputy Warden Trevor Cunningham
Councillor Daniel Allen
CAO Victoria Brooks
Town of Yarmouth
Mayor Pam Mood
Deputy Mayor Steve Berry (Committee Vice-Chair)
Councillor Gil Dares
CAO Jeff Gushue
Municipality of Argyle
Warden Danny Muise
Deputy Warden Nicole Albright (Committee Chair)
Councillor Guy Surette
CAO Alain Muise
Dorgam Hideib (Mariners Centre CEO)
Wade Cleveland (Mariner Centre Board Chair)