A Fort Langley girl trying to keep the community’s outdoor pool open took her plea to Township council Monday afternoon.
Nora Cashato, 12, asked that there be a public process to consider options for the Fort Langley Outdoor Pool. The current plan is to replace the aging pool with a spray park.
Cashato said it was one of the few public amenities in the Fort for kids her age.
“How many kids use the public pool for swimming lessons and how many kids use the pool for public swim?” Cashato said.
She has more than 3,000 signatures on online and in-person in favour of keeping the pool open.
Between public swims and other uses, Councillor Kim Richter asked Cashato what use she would like to see the most for the Fort pool.
“I think it’s important for younger kids too, to learn how to swim in their community,” Cashato said, saying she would like the pool’s time to be split between public swim and lessons.
If it were a bigger pool, older kids including teenagers might also use it more, she said in response to a question from Coun. Steve Ferguson.
Coun. David Davis noted that he first learned to swim there himself.
“A water park doesn’t teach you how to swim underwater,” Davis said.
He also noted that for kids without the ability to drive, getting from the Fort to Walnut Grove Community Centre’s pool by bicycle involves a pretty steep uphill climb.
In response to a question from Coun. Blair Whitmarsh on making the pool better, Cashato said it should be better known.
“When I was looking at the comments on my petition, a lot of people didn’t even know there was a pool in Fort Langley,” she said.
Council was expected to refer Cashato’s delegation and petition to staff for more information. A public open house on the future of the site is expected in the near future.
A Township statement last week said the plan to remove and replace the pool is driven by its age and the increasing costs of maintenance as well as safety concerns with the 60-year-old facility.