File photo The majority of regional politicians are coming out in favour of building a new outdoor pool up at the recreation centre dependant on receiving a $2.2 million federal/provincial grant and a referendum approved for borrowing between $400,000 to $600,000.

Similkameen politicians back new outdoor pool grant application

Keremeos council member Jeremy Evans was the only politician to come out against new pool

  • Jan. 25, 2019 11:03 a.m.

At least one elected official is coming out against the idea of building a new $3 million outdoor pool at the recreation centre.

Jeremy Evans, a longstanding councillor with the Village of Keremeos and council appointed member for the recreation commission for the last eight years, said building a new outdoor pool at this time will tie the municipalities hands 50 years into the future.

“The liner we could have afforded. (Memorial Park) is a better location. Personally, an outdoor pool up there is just yucky. It’s right by the highway. If we did that (built new) we’d have a 50-year pool, we would never get an indoor pool at the same location. The better idea was to line the (existing) pool and in 15 to 20 years we might have the support for an indoor pool,” he said.

Related: Regional reps dive into overhauling outdoor pool in Keremeos

The issue surfaced at Keremeos Village council Monday when directors were asked to rescind a previous support letter for a $500,000 grant application that would have seen the existing pool overhauled. About $139.000 would need to be used from the pool reserves if the federal/provincial grant application was successful.

In the last 10 days a second option came forward with the support of the recreation commission that would see the new $3 million pool funded heavily through a grant application of $2.2 million with local taxpayers having to put in $800, 000. The local portion would come from reserves from the rec centre and the pool and the remaining approximate $400,000 to $600,000 would need to be borrowed. A referendum to borrow the money would need to pass.

“We would totally drain our reserves not just for the pool but our entire rec centre,” Evans said. “With the liner we had money in reserves to cover the cost, but we have to go to referendum to borrow,” he said.

Sherry Philpott-Adhikary raised concerns about the cost of decommissioning the old pool in Memorial Park, and the impact of building an indoor pool.

Related: Former local politician questions renovating Keremeos outdoor pool

Jason Wiebe, who is acting Mayor as Manfred Bauer is away, said in his talks with Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen staff that he was told converting a new outdoor pool into an indoor pool of sorts would be possible. He was not aware if decommissioning the pool was in the cost estimates.

“In the proposal is the possibility to make an enclosure. It might not be fully enclosed like an indoor pool would be but it would be able to be used longer. It’s kind of a greenhouse plastic, glass,” he said.

Evans quipped back, “the same was said of the ice rink.”

Evans was the sole member of Keremeos council who voted against providing support letter for the grant application so it was approved and will be included in the grant application that will be made this week.

Tim Roberts, Area G (Rural Keremeos/Hedley) director and George Bush, Area B (Cawston) director told the Review last Thursday after the RDOS meeting they were 100 per cent in support of building a new outdoor pool at the recreation centre.

Related: Survey results support building indoor pool in Keremeos

Roberts said he was part of the rec commission in 2006, which at that time wanted to build an indoor pool. He knew he couldn’t afford the tax increase at that time, nor now most likely, but didn’t want to see any money go into the pool at Memorial Park.

“I was totally against putting all the money ($500,000) in the hole downtown. We talked to staff, asked a lot of questions to get the information. We asked, ‘can you be certain the pool will hold out,’ and we were told, ‘every year we have water from the river rushing down there.’ They haven’t done geological studies so we don’t know what it’s like for sure down there,” he said.

Bush said he’s in favour of a new outdoor pool if a grant can be obtained and although he could afford the cost of an indoor pool he recognizes many can’t in the valley.

Related: EDITORIAL: Lower Similkameen not ready for indoor pool

“We feel it’s our responsibility to go to the local constituents to see what they want to do. This isn’t going to cost any more to operate a year. It’ll probably cost less because it’s higher efficiency and won’t have the problems,” he said.

The Review will continue to follow this story.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town of Osoyoos voices support for proposed casino

Osoyoos council voted to submit a letter of support for a proposed casino on OIB land

Chants of ‘Parky, Parky, Parky’ herald ECM victory

The Penticton ECM Promotions atoms clinch silver medal at Coquitlam tourney

Osoyoos Indian Band seeks support for casino

The 6000 to 7500 square foot casino would be located on Osoyoos Indian Band land.

South Okanagan Men and Women Who Care schedule first meetings of 2020

The 100 Men Who Care Penticton and 100 Women Who Care South Okanagan meetings scheduled

Oliver woman reflects on prestigious win at Westminster dog show

“Polly” the Scottish deerhound was crowned best in breed and reserve best hound.

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read