Four Seasons Pool Replacement A Possibility
Prince George, B.C.- Replacing the Four Seasons pool will be moving forward to budget discussions when Council examines the Capital plan on February 1st.
The pool, which is nearly half a century old, has a number of serious issues, with accessibility and the change rooms on the long list of deficiencies.
The consultant who assessed the pool provided City Staff with three options:
- Replacement of Four Seasons Leisure Pool (Est. Capital cost 33M plus $2 million for demolition)
- Replacement of Four Seasons Leisure Pool (Option 1) and Repair and Additions to Aquatic Centre (Est. Capital cost 63M)
- Leave Four Seasons Leisure Pool as-is and large expansion to Aquatic Centre (Est. Capital cost 37M)
Staff recommend the Four Seasons pool be replaced with a new facility in the downtown area. The estimated cost is $35 million ( includes the cost of demolition).
“It’s an enormous cost” said Councillor Brian Skakun, “This would be, in my opinion, a perfect referendum question” . The size of the price tag, and the fact the City is looking at borrowing the money to pay for it, means the electorate must have an opportunity to say yes or no to borrowing that amount of money. Typically, the City moves to an alternate approval process rather than a referendum because of the cost of conducting a referendum.
City Manager Kathleen Soltis says the proposed project will be part of the proposed capital plan and says if approved at that stage, then Council would have to decide if borrowing that sum of money should be put to the electorate in the form of a referendum or the alternate approval process.
Councillor Albert Koehler says he is against the alternate approval process, and notes the debt servicing cost annually is sitting at about $15.5 million.
Manager of Engineering, Dave Dyer says even if the project is approved, construction wouldn’t likely start until 2019 because of the need to have time for design development.
The matter will be discussed further at the February 1st budget meeting when the capital plan will be discussed.