All Kamloops taxpayers subsidize Westsyde pool

Two & Out
By James Peters
March 11, 2016 - 9:49am Updated: March 14, 2016 - 10:48am
Image Credit: CFJC Today

KAMLOOPS — There really is no place for sentimentality in planning city services and amenities. 

No place for populism, or for pandering. 

Amenities have to be planned using cold logic, informed by accounting, mathematics and best practices. 

Why? 

Because even though only a portion of a city's residents have a certain attachment to various amenities, we all have skin in the game. 

That is, my tax dollars are subsidizing the Westsyde pool, even though I live on the other side of town.

The Canada Games Pool receives ten times as many visitors as the Westsyde Pool, yet its tax subsidy isn't even twice as high.

And now, taxpayers will need to fork out millions more just to keep the pool operating as is, something that will not help attract more people to use it.

It's totally understandable that Westsyde residents want their pool to stay, but their argument is hardly supported by the numbers.

This also raises for discussion the reason why people move to communities like Westsyde, Barnhartvale, Rayleigh, and other former bedroom communities that joined Kamloops upon amalgamation.

For many, it is because of the small-town feel, larger properties and more reasonable real estate prices.

But with that small town feel comes a sacrifice.

You sacrifice your easy access to amenities.

Westsyde has been very lucky to have a pool for as long as it has, especially considering the drain it has been on the public purse.

Now that the city is considering building a facility that will provide more services, and more attractive services, operate more efficiently and attract more people, it may be that your luck has run out, and a more logical path will be taken forward.

I don't expect the people of Westsyde to agree, but for absolutely everyone else in the city, the decision is crystal clear.

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