The town of High River is getting an expanded swimming pool.

On Monday Town council voted unanimously to move ahead with borrowing up to $15-million for a pool expansion at the Bob Snodgrass Recreation Complex.

Mayor Craig Snodgrass called the decision fantastic.

"We can't just sit on our hands and wait for some massive facility to show up some day, we've got to keep moving forward and we've got to take care of the residents who are here now and this also provides another excellent amenity that new people that are looking at High River can appreciate and look at as a part of their quality of life as well, "said Snodgrass.

He says the information that gave council an idea of where things sat and to set up the plebiscite was all very preliminary and now with the funding approval the Town can look at proposals for an architectural firm and get the detailed design work started.

All members of council brought up their desire to keep the project's costs in line and not allowing it to go over budget.

This is not a full reno of the rec centre, this is an expansion of the pool and we need to keep it within scope," the mayor says.

The current pool will remain in place with the expansion occurring to the west, with a leisure pool, water slide, zero entry to for young kids to learn how to swim or seniors aquasize.

Mayor Craig Snodgrass pointed out, of the 11,000 voters eligible to cast a ballot in last October's non-binding pool plebiscite, only about 4,100 did.

"Of that I think it was a 364 vote split between Yes and No and what we found with the referendum and what I heard from was a lot of people voted No just because they didn't feel they had enough information," he says.

The Town normally would have held open houses to get that information out but because of the pandemic it wasn't able to do so.

The Town's also looking for a 20-acre parcel for either dedication or acquisition within the town for future recreation use.

"Council understands with the growth areas that we have in town and as our community grows we do need to get a parcel of land allocated for future recreation expansion, now that all depends of growth, we cannot afford that now nut in the future as High River grows those days will come," Snodgrass says.

He says that could come from a land donation from a developer or an outright purchase by the town, which is his preference, because donations usually come with conditions and he doesn't feel it would be right to saddle future councils with having to live up to those conditions.

One of the concept drawings presented to council in 2021                     One of the concept drawings presented to council in 2021