Voters to decide fate of pool

Taxpayers in Williams Lake and the CRD will get to have their say on whether to borrow money for upgrades to the city's pool.

Cariboo Regional District and Williams Lake tax payers will get to have their say during the next election on whether or not they want to pay for upgrades to the Sam Ketchum Memorial Pool.

Now let’s just hope they go for it.

The CRD and City deserve credit for coming up with a conservative, common-sense approach to the proposed project which would see the current main pool and its mechanical systems replaced and a new leisure pool added onto the existing Cariboo Memorial Complex building, where the gym and change rooms currently are.

A big bonus of the design (besides the possible option of a waterslide for kids) is that it would allow the construction to be done in phases so the community will never be without a pool.

The concept also calls for the addition of a second floor above the existing change rooms to house multi-use and fitness space and expanded change rooms.

The decision to proceed with a referendum was made during the Nov. 29 Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors meeting and will allow officials to ask voters if they approve of borrowing up to $10 million over 20 years for the upgrades.

The CRD/City said the remainder of the cost of the approximately $11.3 million project would need to be made up from grants, fundraising, and capital reserves.

If voters say yes to the project, it would result in a tax increase of about $40 per $100,000 of residential assessment.

Yes, $11 million is a lot of money to end up with essentially the same main pool, but really what other choice do we have?

At this particular time the province and the feds are holding on tight to any money they have, and it would be very unlikely that local taxpayers would agree to shoulder a new, even more expense multiplex, like the kind we would all love to have.

And, we haven’t heard of any big businesses beating down doors to sponsor a multiplex mega project in Williams Lake.

Taxpayers should also remember if they choose to shelve this project like they did once before, the 30-year-old pool would still need a $2 million reno just to fix the existing tank.

It sounds like residents will be receptive to the project, though.

According to the Pool Task Force, the proposed concept was the “overwhelming choice” of stakeholders and residents during public consultation last year.

That is, after they all finished venting their ongoing bitterness toward the Tourism Discovery Centre.

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

(File photo)
Firearms investigation on Winger Road the result of increased gang activity: RCMP

When police attempted to stop a vehicle, it sped away

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read