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Rec centre society expects to give public update this month
Rec centre society expects to give public update this month By KEITH CORCORAN

 BRIDGEWATER - While work quietly takes place behind the scenes on the York Street location targeted as the future site of a multi-purpose recreation centre, the society tasked with putting a plan in motion is on the verge of issuing its findings to the public.

 The volunteer-led Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre Society figures later this month it can put unanswered questions to rest.

 Bridgewater and the Municipality of Lunenburg, each of which have committed $2.5 million to the project, will get a look at the final product before the public. The society is confident it has the public's backing and wants to ensure "that when we roll things out that we deliver," chairman Paul Belliveau said.

 "It may seem like we're grinding along but we're just making sure we're contacting our potential funding partners and doing things properly so when we do the rollout that if you have a question we'll have an answer, instead of 'we'll get back to you.'"

 The society is using funding it received from the two municipalities to pay an environmental engineering firm to do on-site work and a traffic review by another company.

 Mr. Belliveau said the sign the Town of Bridgewater paid for and posted on site will be replaced with one that depicts the society's new logo.

Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre Society chairman Paul Belliveau figures a progress update to the public will take place later this month.

 The society is admittedly behind schedule and now feels releasing a timeline early in the game wasn't the best idea. They didn't meet the October time in which they hoped to release an updated business plan. But the five-member society, which has been working steadily since May, is finalizing the plan, preparing provincial and federal funding applications and working on obtaining a charity number.

 "We have to make sure in our business plan that we still think that people who said they would use the aquatic centre still intend to use the aquatic centre," Mr. Belliveau said. "So it's coming up with the numbers to support our data."

 Mr. Belliveau said he isn't worried about the status of future funding even as the province announced in October a $5 million investment in a sports facility in Queens County.

 He said the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre isn't intended to compete with Queens.

 Once the business plan is in place, expect the rollout of a fundraising campaign.

 The two municipalities are tasked with sorting out the finer details of the centre's future management and operations, in which the society doesn't intend to play a large role.

 "As a group, we're not looking for a lifetime appointment here," Mr. Belliveau said. "At some point we'll have it turned over to somebody and it's probably the municipal units."

 The two municipalities have already been told costs have risen since a 2005 report released by a consultant. Mr. Belliveau said the "full meal deal" of two ice surfaces, aquatic centre, library, multipurpose centre and concessions will cost about $30 million.

 The society will soon plot its progress on-line with a web page at on the internet.

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