KAMLOOPS — Residents of Westsyde and Brocklehurst will get their wish, but those in the heart of the North Shore might not be so happy.
Council voted 7-1 on Tuesday to keep the Westsyde and Brocklehurst pools open, but turn the McDonald Park pool into a spray park. Mayor Peter Milobar says the Westsyde project can go out to tender immediately and be ready for the fall.
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"It means 30 or 40 of us will be aquasizing three times a week," says Westsyde resident Evelyn Spicer. "The schools will be able to use the Westsyde pool for their class and other recreational things will happen."
Councillor Tina Lange says last month's public meetings swayed her opinion.
"I think it came out loud and clear that the neighbourhoods definitely wanted us to keep their pools which surprised me because I thought that given the choice they would say, yeah bulldoze them and give us a beautiful leisure pool, and certainly I was all in favour of bulldozing them until I heard the people talking." said Lange.
The one Councillor against the motion, Ken Christian, says he's all for keeping Westsyde and Brock open. But he doesn't agree with plan for McDonald Park.
"I'm not in favour of a wading pool," says Christian. "I think the money spent could be better utilized to enhance the spray park, and we've seen at Centennial as well as McGowan, those kinds of modern aquatic facilities for young toddlers are really well-utilized."
Council will also commission a study on a location for a new ice sheet in Kamloops, but voted against studying a new indoor leisure pool for the North Shore.
"I think a leisure pool at some point down the road is a great idea, but I didn't get the feeling listening to people on the North Shore that was a priority for them right now. We all know that would be a big tax hit," says Lange.
While Mayor Peter Milobar maintained people can't support a facility if they don't have any information, Councillor Donovan Cavers argued it can wait.
"We can monitor the equipment, when the equipment in Westsyde is not doing very well, that's a time to do a study, so we have a fresh study, because it could be 5 years, maybe that equipment will last 6 or 7 years. If we do a study now, by then it will be outdated and it will have to get redone anyways." said Cavers.
While the Westsyde pool will remain open, staff will monitor its usage to determine its long term future. But for Westsyde residents, all that matters is their pool is still alive.
"We have to our homework, too. We have to get people using the pool on a regular basis, so the city has no excuse for trying to close it again," says Spicer.
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