Regional district staff provided more information about a proposed new outdoor pool that could be built in Keremeos sometime in the next few years if a federal/provincial grant and referendum are successful.
Justin Shuttleworth, parks and facilities co-ordinator for the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen said although drawings are more than 13 years old, the cost estimates for the $3 million pool have been updated.
Shuttleworth said drawings date back to the mid-2000s when there was some interest in building an indoor pool.
“They’re kind of layout drawings that give an indication where the pool could be built beside the rink. We used the layout and that vision to update some cost estimates and came up with the $3 million quote,” he said.
If the project goes ahead it would mean a similar size pool to the one currently located in Memorial Park. The estimates were based on a four-lane, 25-metre pool that includes a kiddie area and easy accessibility into the shallow end of the pool.
The $3 million price tag, which includes $800,000 from local taxpayers, includes decommissioning the old pool and updating drawings.
“I’m confident with the numbers. It was a quick turn around time but we based them on other projects done in other communities,” he said.
Shuttleworth said there is a possibility to close in the pool, to make it more of an indoor pool, if that’s something the community wanted to do at a later date.
He noted the RDOS won’t hear until fall whether the grant was approved or not. If approved, it’s expected the pool in Memorial Park will continue to run for at least two more seasons.
“Our plan is to continue to run the pool we have and do the necessary repair work to make it last another two years,” he said.
A referendum would need to be held immediately after hearing if the grant application was successful. Shuttleworth said it’s unclear at this point how much would be borrowed to cover the local cost of $800,00. He noted it would be between $500,000 and $600,000. At this point there are no cost estimates per household.
If the grant is not successful, Shuttleworth said the plan will be to use reserve funding of about $145,000 to keep the pool going.
“If we don’t get it, it leaves us exactly where we would have been if we didn’t find out about the grant. They (the Similkameen Recreation Commission) wanted to look at the big picture goal and utilize the grant application for that,” he said.
The scope of the grant application was changed just 10 days before its deadline after the recreation commission voted to go after funding for a new outdoor pool.
The original grant application was for about $500,000 and the local portion would be $139,000 paid from reserves to overhaul the outdoor pool in Memorial Park.
The pool has been in that location since the 1970s. Shuttleworth said high water is causing problems and is responsible for heaving of concrete at the location.
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