March 08, 2016 - 2:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - Brocklehurst residents were clear about one thing during a community meeting last night — their pool needs to stay.
The mayor, seven councillors and city staff were at Parkcrest elementary last night, March 7, for the second of four community sessions looking at recreation facilities in north Kamloops. The city is considering reworking where and what aquatic recreation services are in the area, citing repairs, low usage numbers and inefficient use of tax dollars as reasons for potential changes.
With repairs soon necessary at the Brocklehurst and McDonald Park outdoor pools and millions of dollars needed to fix the Westsyde Pool roof, the issue has become a hot button topic in several communities. Petitions for the Westsyde and Brocklehurst Pools have been started as the city considers shutting down the city pools in north Kamloops and building a leisure pool complex at McArthur Island.
More than 130 residents came out to the event to speak directly with city staff and councillors and all who took to the podium were in favour of keeping the outdoor pool in Brocklehurst.
Locals had a range of reasons to keep the pool, from the safety of the location to being a location for competitive swimming and the potential of overburdening the remaining pools to helping the neighbourhood well-being.
Members of the Tsunami Swim Club were concerned about the future of their club and competitions held in Kamloops. Team treasurer Kathleen Karpuk says the pool is one of four of its type in the province and the only one in the Interior, meaning it brings regional competitions every year. Parents also said the pool offers opportunites which will be lost if a pool isn't in the neighbourhood.
“My kids wouldn’t be able to participate in a swim club like this if it weren’t for the location of the Brock pool,” Cindy Worsfold said. "To get rid of Brock pool is getting rid of recreation kids in the area use and might not go to McArthur Island for."
She also raises concerns about children biking to McArthur Island because the route would include crossing Tranquille Road and riding through secluded areas, situations she doesn't want to see kids facing on a regular basis.
Recreation director Byron McCorkell pointed out that right now the city has made no decisions as to what the plan will be, and ideas which have been mentioned by the city are only ideas, including the possibility of a leisure pool on McArthur Island and twin rink at the Brock Arena, and are not official plans.
Most concerns brought forward were about how the loss of the pool would affect the neighbourhood children because it's a common spot for children to spend time at in the summer.
"My son rides bike down to pool with his friends, they have fun and they play all day long and they’re safe," Nicole Hale says. "I beg you not to take that away from our community. The North Shore needs more good stuff to do."
The next two public meetings will take place on Wednesday, March 9, at NorKam Secondary Cafeteria and Tuesday, March 15, at the Sandman Centre Parkside Lounge. Both meetings will run from 7 to 9 p.m.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016