Former local politician questions renovating Keremeos outdoor pool

Roger Mayer who served as the Area G (Hedley/Rural Keremeos) rep for many years weighs in on pool

To the Editor:

I really think the direction the Regional District is going in regard to our swimming pool needs more consideration and input from the community. In the study that Regional District did in 2017 there was considerable support for an indoor pool for our community.

Eighty per cent of those under 30, 72% of those between 30 and 50, 55% of those between 50 and 70 and 54% of those over 70 supported building an indoor pool, so why is the Regional District pursuing building an out-door pool? Do they not listen to the results of their own survey?

Related: Regional reps dive into overhauling outdoor pool in Keremeos

Also, the survey showed that the existing outdoor pool had the highest use of all our recreation services in the community. It is the one recreation activity that can be used by all age groups.

Granted it is an expensive facility to build and operate, but I’ve always thought that if we could get some grants to pay for the capital costs of the pool then the annual operating costs would be something the community might be able to afford. I really think its something the RDOS should go out to the community and ask. It seems we can now apply for grant funding to cover up to 75% and we have 145,000 in reserves at this point so that will certainly help.

I also feel that this is not just about building a much-needed facility for the community. This is about attracting more young people to our community and getting a better mix of the age group that live, work and play in our community. Many people can live almost anywhere for many jobs in the work place these days, and an indoor pool would go a long way to attracting these people to our community. These days it’s not about attracting a big factory or business to locate in your community to get jobs for our citizens. We already have some of the most reasonably priced real estate in British Columbia, which has attracted many young people to our community, but we need to stand above other communities in services like an indoor pool.

I would strongly urge Mayor Bauer, Director Bush, and Director Roberts along with the newly appointed Recreation Commission to take a good hard look at what they are proposing and have some more discussion with the community before they embark on doing a make do project over an indoor pool which is what the survey they conducted actually said the community wanted.

Roger Mayer

Former Area G representative

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