Current Pool Site Discussion to Follow Referendum
Prince George, B.C. – Voters in Prince George will be asked in two months if they favour the City borrowing money to build a new Four Seasons Pool and a #1 Fire Hall.
An October 28th referendum will seek authority to borrow $35 million for the pool replacement and $15 million for a new fire hall, to be located next to the YMCA on Massey Drive.
The City proposes the pool be built on the present Days Inn site but the $35 million price tag does not included the estimated $6 million it will cost to purchase the hotel property, demolish the building and prepare the site for construction.and demolish the old pool and fire hall.
Mayor Lyn Hall says the Days Inn property was looked at for quite specific reasons. “Through the Aquatic Needs Assessment piece that we did people felt very strongly about retaining the pool downtown. I think during that assessment they interviewed some 600 people. And, when we took a look at the downtown area and the property that we owned specifically, we didn’t have anything large enough to facilitate the new pool.”
One of the main questions to be posed, should the referendum pass, is what happens to the property now housing the pool? “There hasn’t been any decision made on that property,” says the mayor. “I think there’s a number of opportunities for us, everything from enhancing the plaza, to parking to looking at other opportunities around construction and building, those kinds of things. But there hasn’t been any decision made and we wouldn’t do that prior to the referendum.”
Prodded to give some examples of those opportunities Mayor Hall says “I was asked that question shortly after we had the Monday night (Council) meeting and there has been no discussion or decision on what that might look like. I think the opportunities are just as I’ve laid out.” So, nothing at all on what might go in there? Might it just become a parking area for the time being? “No,” says the mayor, “we’re waiting to see what happens with the referendum and we’ll cross that bridge when we have to.”
In the meantime, the City is about to embark upon an information campaign leading up to the referendum. “Mayor Hall says “we’re going to try and get started in early September. We’ve got some presentations that are scheduled for service organizations and we’re going to put out a request for any organization, any neighbourhood in the community that wants us to come and present to them, we’ll certainly do that.”
“That would include user groups, service organizations, community associations that want more information. So, we’re leaving it wide open for people to invite us to come and make those presentations. And we’re also pursuing presentations on our own to service clubs and the like.”