Basinview Centre, owned by the Municipality of the County of Annapolis, is set to close June 18 because the building's insurance policy has been cancelled.
"We can't operate the building without insurance," said Warden Alan Parish." As far as I'm concerned it's the death knell of the building."
The Fundy YMCA, which operates a pool and a fitness centre, is a tenant of the building in Cornwallis Park. There is also a grocery store and hair salon. They were given the required 30-days notice to leave on Wednesday.
David Dick, the chief administrative officer for the municipality, said the insurance was cancelled because of the structural condition of the building. Municipal officials have been doing studies on the east wall and testing the ground underneath the pool.
'The technical reports are damning'
"I'm a strong supporter of the Y, but I can't support the building," said Coun. Brad Redden. "The technical reports are damning."
Coun. Alex Morrison wanted municipal staff to contact provincial and federal governments to see if grant money was available to try to repair the building.
"If this building is closed it will be a hollowing out of the county," said Morrison. "It will negatively affect the health of a large number of people and it will drive a lot of business to an adjoining county."
Majority wants any new funds to go to new facility
Coun. Bruce Prout agreed the shutdown of Basinview would be "a tremendous loss." But the majority of council thought that if grant money became available it would be better spent on the construction of a new facility.
A few councillors blamed the situation on a lack of proper maintenance by previous administrations.
Coun. Lynn Longmire said it was due to the "lack of responsible and appropriate management." Morrison called it "a case study in procrastination."
In fact, Annapolis County received a letter from YMCA officials asking for mediation over the maintenance issues. Parish said the request was in the hands of the municipality's lawyers.
Some members of Annapolis County council are pinning their hopes for the future of the building on a possible sale.
The municipality put out a request for proposal for interested buyers in late April. That call closes at the end of May.
Some interest in buying centre
According to Parish, there are two companies that have expressed interest in buying the centre.
"Although I don't know how interested they are going to be if they can't get insurance on the building," said Parish.
He said the municipality will continue to try to get insurance, although the CAO described that possibility as "remote at best."
The future of the centre will be updated at a county council meeting in early June.
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