Let common sense win over dreams on June 9

A letter to the editor by Denise Balbirnie

To the editor:

On June 9, voters will decide on the fate of the proposed expansion to the rec centre. This expansion has never been about a pool, but some community members persist in thinking that this vote is a “this or that,” a rec expansion or a pool and that voting against the rec expansion will bring a pool closer to reality.

The true reality is there is no guarantee that 100 Mile will see a pool in the next 10, or even 20 years even if the expansion is voted down.

The idea for a pool was first formed in the 1960’s. The last serious group, the SCAS formed in 2008, put forth a proposal four years later in 2012, and a phone survey in 2014.

It took six years of hard work to get the pool that far. If a referendum had been taken and passed, it would be another five years to see if the money could be raised.

Pools are expensive. A 2012 feasibility report for the Williams Lake pool saw their town of 29,504 subsidize every swim (132,000 that year) by $5.22/swim, which was noted as “This…rate of subsidy are all quite typical in B.C.”

The report also noted that in the hundreds of studies they have completed, most towns see six to nine swims per capita per year. In 2016 the population of 100 Mile was 1,980. Including outlying areas as far as Deka, 11,342. 10 swims/capita (which would be considered optimistic based on this report) is still 18,580 fewer swims than Williams Lake, what would our subsidy/swim be?

The report also studied the dry floor for fitness activities, and found that the uses generated a surplus of $27,202!

Please, when it comes time to vote, let common sense win over dreams.

We have an opportunity to get an expansion to our current rec facility, or a gamble that we get a pool, where “careful what you wish for, because it just might happen” comes to mind, which is what I’m sure Lillooet thinks of during the nine months of the year that they can’t afford to operate their pool.

Denise Balbirnie

103 Mile

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