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.”
Hard to believe that the future of the Four Seasons site hasn’t been decided. I guessing the Performing Arts Centre would be built there. Hard to get the referendum passed if Im correct.
I would bet that is the ‘quiet’ plan for the property. Parking?! well, maybe, but that seems a long shot in the dark with a blindfold in.
Made up my mind. Yes to the firehall. A firehall is a need. No to the pool. A pool is a want and frankly we cannot afford a $40 million plus pool and the increase in property taxes that comes with it. How is the City planning to pay the anticipated $6 million price tag to purchase the Days Inn and demolish it? There are sites outside of downtown that make more sense but aren’t on the table and that’s a shame.
That’s an agree, for me. In everything you said.
“In the meantime, the City is about to embark upon an information campaign leading up to the referendum.”
Interesting. The last referendum we had, ending fluoridation and ultimately saving the taxpayer money, not to mention our health, the City was silent leading up it.
This “trust us, we’ll let you know later” attitude, is so typical of this administration and Council. To name but a few:
1)Lack of info for the Hart Highlands sewer project (Phase 1 “we’ll start the project and then have an information meeting to discuss details”)Lyn Hall and others were at the meeting and heard first hand how admin was less than forthcoming with the residents. They even said themselves, they had to do better
2)The re-naming of the park – although had been discussed behind closed doors
3)The location of the transit maintenance yard
See a pattern here? There are more questions than answers regarding these two projects. With interest included (that’s right- not even mentioned in the numbers), the final bill will be closer to 100 million and no one from admin or City Hall is being honest about that.
There was also talk of the coliseum future. Close part of Dominion Street and 7th Avenue . One more flea bag motel kitty corner to the Four Seasons and you have a huge lot . More than big enough for the plans and ideas that supposedly don’t exist.
Wait a minute, is that headline correct? We are going to have the referendum and then have a discussion about it???
I don’t think horses push carts very well, that’s why they have always been hooked up to pull instead.
Guess it all depends which end of the horse is gonna do the talk’in, LOL
How are we supposed to give a proper vote if we dont know what the end result will be?? Or even what it might be, with a few potential options??
I can not, and will not, support the pool project without having more information about the plans for the area. I feel that they know what the plan is, and are being evasive about it. Maybe they should have their “discussions” before the referendum, and let us all know. The city owns massive amounts of land downtown, and I’d like to see them use some of that up, before purchasing more. Perhaps raise the money needed for a pool by selling some other land. Provide more parking, not less.
I support both pool and hall.The cost of two pools outside the bowl I’m think’in would be a heck of a lot higher than one downtown, that is well used in it’s present location. The only suggestion I would make to the City is get both projects out of the downtown. It’s flooding I’m concerned with, nothing else.
It looks to me like the space the old pool occupies is the same size as the block that the Days Inn is sitting on so why not just demolish the old pool and build it right where the old one was? Oh right, these idiots want the PAC there!! Another 50 million or so doesn’t matter. Our city is growing in leaps and bounds so the tax base will be larger. I have a bridge for sale too if anyone wants their own bridge!!
I’m really pleased to hear that the City is growing by leaps and bounds so why build a second pool in the bowl. Why not give residents I College Higths a second pool or the north end of the City.
Is the water in the Odorsford pools called eau de toilet after the valley stench is absorbed from the bodies of people using the pools:D
I sent an e-mail to Mr. Hall, Mr. Frizzel and Mr. Skakum asking some questions and making some suggestions about the pool. Guess what no responses form any of them. So much for talking to the public. I guess they made up my mind for me I will not be supporting the pool. The answer is a big NO
I wouldn’t reply to you either if you didn’t take the time to learn how to spell my name.
My apologies for the Typos all were correct in the email unless wrong on the city web site. It is interesting that when I asked some questions at election time all answered.
Agreed Starrider. I am a little surprised at this entire process to be honest with you. It’s like sometimes the C of PG need to step back and ask “What would the public expect of us?”
Maybe they didn’t respond because they couldn’t have a photo shoot and come up with a catchy name for the process of answering your questions (i.e. “Talktober”)
You might wish to consider more public channels like social media where there is opportunity for transparent accountability in answering your concerns.
Since the pool/ fire hall became an issue I saw through the smoke and mirrors. Nice to see I may be right. I see the current plan as a way of working a PAC in through the back door, even the Mayor can’t say it will not happen.
I am giving a big NO to the pool unless it is a demo of the four seasons and a rebuild on the same land.If that pool goes anywhere else here we go again on the PAC.
Good lord do they think we are stupid? It is pretty easy for anyone who cares what happens here to connect the dots.
NO NO NO to the pool!
They want to be able to use the old pool while the new pool is being built, otherwise you would only have one pool for approx 2 years. So build it at another location and use the old pool until the new one is completed.
The Aqua Centre located at the Exhibition Grounds is close enough to college heights to allow them to use that pool. Its only a hop, skip, and a jump from college heights to Ospika and down to the pool.
It is also only a hop,skip and a jump from Quinn street to the Heather landfill yet you wanted the city to waste $20k a month to keep the transfer station open. Guess you don’t like hopping, skipping or jumping or don’t want to set off the seismic detectors when doing so:P
It was only a hop to the Quinn St transfer station. When you look at how the City spends $20k a month.
My issue with the closure of Quinn St. was the fact that we built at that location, spent a few million dollars, with the intent to allow people easy access to getting rid of their garbage. The plan worked good, until the City built new offices there, and then it became necessary to close the sani dump, and the transfer station.
Why was is a good idea when it was built, and then becomes a bad idea when the City wants the property for another reason.
I would be interested in knowing the real price of this borrowing in terms of the increase it will have in our property taxes per household. Had anyone heard any figures?
Wow, looks like you can make mistakes too. I guess I am not the only one. Mistakes happen.
The increase in property taxes works out to approx $80.00 per year this includes both the fire hall and the pool. Keep in mind that this increase is over a 20 year period so you will pay $1600.00 additional taxes over 20 years.
It doesn’t sound like much on an individual basis, however when you consider borrowing $50 Million over 20 years taxpayers in PG will be paying $30 + million in interest charges. This does not include the cost of tearing down buildings, hauling to the land fill, buying property, etc; etc;
So for the pool and fire hall over 20 years roughly $80 million. Throw in another $10 Million for ancilliary costs and you are looking at a cool $90 Million.
There is also the additional cost of asbestos abatement at the Days Inn. It more than likely will not be tested until after the hotel is purchased. Then surprise surprise how could we have easily possibly known.
Comments for this article are closed.