The Township of Langley needs to find another way to fund an indoor pool in Langley, one that doesn’t rely on selling publicly-owned land.
Joanne Nicolato, the chair and founder of the Aldergrove Recreation and Pool Society, made the suggestion at the Monday afternoon (Dec. 8) meeting of council.
Her comments come after several attempts at raising the money for the pool by selling Township land to developers have turned into time-consuming controversies, with some residents fighting to preserve the forested properties.
“If land sales are the only means … how many years will it take?” Nicolato said.
“We are asking that all options are looked at,” Nicolato added.
The Aldergrove Recreation and Pool Society is the group that launched the campaign to build an indoor pool.
Nicolato renewed her group’s call for an bigger eight-lane pool, saying it would expand the user base by making the facility suitable for bigger events.
Responding to questions from council, Nicolato said alternatives could include borrowing the funds or saving money by delaying construction of a proposed new ice rink.
Council also heard from Aldergrove resident Dianne Kask, who said the new ice rink should be postponed and when one is built to replace the existing facility, it should be located somewhere else because the proposed site on the former Aldergrove Elementary school site at Fraser Highway and 270 Street is too small to handle the resulting traffic.
Kask said the pool and a proposed fitness centre should also be moved, to the site of the current Kinsmen centre, for the same reasons.
Local swimmers are currently served by the 50-year-old Aldergrove outdoor pool, which was closed for 52 days of its 90-day summer season this year due to water clarity problems.
In June of 2013, council approved a six-lane, 25-metre “short course” pool instead of the eight lane, 50-metre “long course” pool the society had been seeking.
That was a response to an “Aquatic Needs Assessment” report by a private consultant, Professional Environmental Recreation Consultants (PERC) Inc. which said anything more than four lanes would be under-used.
– by Dan Ferguson with files from Kurt Langmann