Westsyde, Brock residents make final push to keep their pools

By Chad Klassen
March 15, 2016 - 10:20pm Updated: March 16, 2016 - 5:43pm

KAMLOOPS — Residents will have to wait another month for a final decision, but many from Westsyde and Brocklehurst made one last pitch to the city, making it clear they want to keep their community pools. 

WATCH: Full story by Reporter Chad Klassen

The fourth and final public meeting Tuesday night at the Parkside Lounge served as another plea to the City of Kamloops to spend the money necessary to keep pools in Westsyde, Brocklehurst and at McDonald Park open instead of building a proposed leisure pool at McArthur Island. 

"I'm relatively new to Kamloops and I've come from a city that had the big wave pool, and we got in our cars and we fought for parking, and yes they're nice facilities. But I have really come to appreciate the community around Westsyde pool," said resident Claire Adams. 

Adams' two children, Natasha and Spencer, also stepped to the podium to speak about their desire to keep Westsyde pool. 

"It's really far to travel from Westsyde to the TCC or Brock just to go swimming on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, which is when Westsyde pool is open," said Natasha, who is 12 years old and loves to swim. 

Natasha even offered up her own financial solution to pay for the roof repairs required to reopen the facility. 

"I think that if Westsyde pool is running low on money, I'd be happy to pay more," she said. "Seriously, I'm not kidding. I would pay more to go swimming there." 

The city projects it will cost up to $5 million to repair a rotting roof at Westsyde pool. 

In Brocklehurst, the estimated cost to upgrade the outdoor pool sits at $206,000. Tara Garrioch from the Brocklehurst Community Association was at Tuesday's meeting to hand Mayor Peter Milobar and Council a petition, which has collected 3,272 signatures from community members to save the pool. 

Only a few in the crowd of 61 people at the Parkside Lounge expressed interest in moving ahead with the McArthur Island proposal, which would see a leisure pool build next the sports complex. 

The city has no cost estimates so far for the proposed facility, but argues it could offer swimming to more residents on the North Shore at a cheaper cost to taxpayers. 

Milobar says regardless of what's decided, he is sensitive about giving residents in Westsyde and Brocklehurst some direction by next month.

"A lot will depend on how quickly staff can collate things and get the feedback put together in a report for us, and we'll move forward from there," said Milobar. "But I would anticipate some time in April that we should be able to have those next steps. We committed to not overly delaying Westsyde. If we decide to keep it as a pool, we need to get moving on that sooner than later." 

City Council meets next on Tuesday, April 5.  

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