Local residents and dignitaries asked questions and offered suggestions during the meeting. Max Winkelman photo.

Aquatic society town hall on new pool sees residents voice opinion

‘I think a referendum is the only way to go,’ says mayor

The community hall was anything but empty on Tuesday night for a South Cariboo Aquaplex Initiative, with questions for a hypothetical new pool proposal ranging from cost, number of lanes and other facilities.

There was also plenty of input such as the suggestion of having any future referendums on the condition of finding a certain amount of funding outside of the tax base and raising funds privately before any referendum vote.

“Considering that we just found out that there were some other things going on in this town tonight, I’m really happy with the turnout and I’m actually really happy with the fact that some of our difficulties have been with the senior population or people who have been for quite a while and so it looked like tonight it was a good number of seniors and people who have been in this town for a long time and they’re the ones who want to see this happen. So I was really happy to see that,” Lisa Rangno, one of the three organizers.

The main takeaways were that people wanted to be included and that cost was a huge factor, not just for building but also the operational costs, she says.

The next step for the group is to meet with the South Cariboo Joint Committee (SCJC) on Jan. 14.

One of the big things will be to get the recreational tax boundary expanded in order to make it affordable for everybody, she says.

“I just want them to know we’re here. We’re on everybody’s side,” she says. “It’s not just us we’re here for the community and we want to do what’s best for the community not just now but in the future.”

The meeting was attended by most local dignitaries including MLA Donna Barnett, most Cariboo Regional District directors, most local councillors and Mayor Mitch Campsall.

Campsall, who’s also a SCJC co-chair said he really thinks the work the three organizers are doing is great.

“Definitely it’ll have to be presented to the community and the community is gonna have to make that choice. We won’t make that choice.”

He says he believes it will go to referendum this time if they go through all the steps.

“We learned from the last one that definitely going to referendum is an important thing to do because it gives you a definitive answer. I don’t think, in my own opinion, we don’t think the phone was the right way to go,” he says referring to the fact that the last time the issue of a pool was brought forward, it wasn’t taken to a referendum after a phone survey.

“I don’t think anyone else on council would disagree with the idea of going to referendum. I think a referendum is the only way to go.”


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