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April 29, 2003
Toronto District School Board and City of Toronto reach agreement to keep school pools open
  
Many public school swimming pools across Toronto have won a reprieve because of
an agreement between the Toronto District School Board and the City of Toronto.
The two bodies announced today that the City will continue to run swimming
programs at up to 47 school pools until the end of 2004 and potentially, to the
end of 2006. The school board will continue to seek alternative funding to keep
as many of the remaining school pools operational as possible.

"Representatives from the City of Toronto and the Toronto District School Board
worked diligently in the past few months to find a solution that would meet the
needs of both organizations as well as the community. This agreement is a
win-win-win for the City, the Board and all the community groups that want and
need the school pools to remain open," said Toronto Deputy Mayor Case Ootes.

"We are being innovative in finding ways to manage the school board's budget
while preserving as much of the community infrastructure as we can," said TDSB
Supervisor Paul Christie. "This agreement reached with the City is a great
example of creativity in finding solutions to our budget problems."

Many of the pools in Toronto public schools were in danger of being closed as
the school board sought ways to balance its budget. Christie has ordered the
pools to be kept open until August 31, 2003, pending the outcome of
negotiations with the City.

Under the agreement, the City agrees to pay $4.7 million in 2002 and up to $6.3
million in 2003 for the use of up to 47 pools to cover operational costs. The
TDSB will be responsible for all capital costs. The TDSB agrees to keeping the
pools open until December 31, 2004. Upon mutual consent, both parties may
extend the pool agreement to December 31, 2006. For the years 2004, 2005 and
2006, the City agrees to pay the TDSB up to $6.3 million, with inflationary
factors that will be determined by a joint staff team.

The City of Toronto currently runs 45 per cent of its swimming programs in
school pools, serving 62,000 participants and 18,000 community permit hours.

The agreement also covers Toronto Parks and Recreation's exclusive use of
school facilities and the fee for use of equipment.

Final Council approval is required for the agreement to be signed and sealed.
The agreement will be discussed at the City's School Advisory Committee's
meeting tomorrow, April 29 and then to City Council at the end of May.

Backgrounder
City of Toronto and Toronto District School Board agreement


-- Negotiations between the City of Toronto and the TDSB have produced an
interim pool strategy that will result in the following:

a) The City agrees to pay to the TDSB the outstanding balance out of 2002
budgeted $4.7 million for the use of school pools in 2002.
b) The City agrees to pay up to $6.3 million in 2003 for use of up to 47 pools
to cover operational costs. This funding has already been allocated in the 2003
operating budget.
c) The parties, upon mutual consent, may extend the pool agreement until
December 31, 2006 at $6.3 million plus any inflationary factors. The TDSB
agrees to keep the identified pools, up to 47, for City use until December 31,
2004.
d) A joint staff team will determine a formula for the application of
inflationary factors for pool costs. Any inflationary increase would not occur
until 2004.
e) The TDSB will be responsible for all capital costs. It is understood that if
a TDSB pool the City uses is shut down due to mechanical failure, the TDSB will
provide a replacement pool in close proximity.
f) All rental revenue in 2002 and 2003 from TDSB pools utilized by the City
will be paid to TDSB in 2003.
g) Starting in 2004, all rental revenues from TDSB pools utilized by the City
will be included in Parks and Recreation operating budget.
h) The City will pay up to $1.3 million for the exclusive use of TDSB space for
City run recreation programs commencing in 2004.
i) The City will pay an annual lump sum of $40,000 to the TDSB for use and
timely repair/replacement of all TDSB equipment. This funding will be for the
years 2003-2006 inclusive.

-- City of Toronto operates swimming programs at 47 of 85 Toronto District
School Board pools and at 29 municipal pools. School pools account for 45
percent of the swimming programs offered by Toronto Parks and Recreation across
the City. This includes 62,000 instructional swim registrations and 1.2 million
visitations.

-- In addition, 18,000 community hours are permitted at school pools for swim
clubs, synchronized swimming, diving programs, etc.

-- Former municipalities have contributed $15.7 million in capital funding for
pools and other amenities in schools. The TDSB has provided facility operations
including caretaking, maintenance, utilities and renewal.


Media Contact
Economic Development, Culture and Tourism
416-392-8183

 

 

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