In 1984 I moved to Aldergrove with my three children, my youngest being eight years old. I was disappointed to find the one outside pool was not large enough for me to go swimming along with my children. In the neighbouring municipality where we had lived I had always gone swimming with my children, not just dropped them off or watched. There was talk at that time of a larger pool being built in Aldergrove. I’ve watched the W.C. Blair Pool open and the Walnut Grove Recreation Centre open, then get upgrades but still no larger pool or inside pool for Aldergrove. My youngest child’s son is now 16 years old and the ground for the new pool has not been dug.
The park where the present outdoor pool is located was donated to Aldergrove for a park, thus it has recently been renamed Jackman Park. When the Kinsmen Community Center (no pool just gym, library, etc.) was built back in the ’80s Aldergrove residents raised one-third of the funds, the federal government paid a third and the Township paid a third. When the new fields were put on the former Loucks farm, area residents got together to build a paved pathway through the woods to the fields and build the fieldhouse. A great deal of the money for the area where the new bike park, community garden and new all-weather field is to be built was largely financed with federal money, donations and volunteer time. I have nothing against higher governments, businesses, local groups or individuals donating to the facilities in Aldergrove but I’m wondering about facilities in other parts of the Township.
Did the community of Murrayville need to fund raise to have the W.C. Blair Pool built or those in Walnut Grove fundraise to have the Walnut Grove Recreation Centre built? Aldergrove has been a larger community than Murrayville and Walnut Grove. I have often heard those on council and employees of the district say there is not a large enough tax base to have a large recreation facility in Aldergrove. Well, the tax base includes all of the Township of Langley. When the other facilities were built all of the Township’s taxes were used; my taxes in Aldergrove were used. All of the township’s taxes went into paying for facilities in Murrayville and Walnut Grove. If there was money to purchase the Redwoods Golf Course why isn’t there money to build a facility in Aldergrove? If the facility is built with the whole family in mind there will be the usage needed to maintain the facility. The Murrayville and Walnut Grove pools are often overcrowded with lessons and those wishing to swim. A new pool in Aldergrove will help to alleviate some of that overcrowding and draw users from the Abbotsford area. Excuses in the past were that we didn’t have the sewage treatment and water to support a pool. We are soon to have them so those excuses are done.
In the March 15 Aldergrove Star there was an article on 12 members of the cast of the Million Dollar Neighbourhood forming a committee to have the Aldergrove Pool and Recreation facility built. Hats off to those people, but yet again it is the community needing to push for the facility, unlike what happened in Walnut Grove. Our new mayor suggests we have a private developer put housing on top of a new recreation facility to counter the cost. Well, why don’t they put housing on top of the Walnut Grove Pool and W.C. Blair Pools to redeem the cost of building those pools so that we can have a pool in Aldergrove? I don’t think the voters in Walnut Grove would like it any more than the voters in Aldergrove. We don’t want a second rate facility. We have waited a long time and have paid taxes a long time to get a top rate pool. Gloucester Estates is part of Aldergrove. The taxes from there alone should be enough to finance a pool.
Regional Parks shut down Aldergrove Lake. They no longer have the expense of the upkeep of the lake. Keeping that area as a natural park would be great but could they be the ones to buy the old Aldergrove Elementary site and turn that into a park and have a partnership between the Township and the Regional Parks to have a beautiful inside pool surrounded by a natural environment? Wouldn’t that be a nicer sight to look at than apartments on top of our new pool?
A frustrated resident,
Dianne Kask, Aldergrove
Re: Swimming pool in Aldergrove
Instead of going after the taxpayers for a pool why don’t the Mayor and Councillors go and find some developer to develop a mall like West Edmonton Mall; they have a swimming pool and exercise area and there would be lots of room for walking while shopping.
The developer could work with fisheries to develop the old mall, where Bertrand Creek runs through the parking lot to have that part of the creek in the mall so people visiting the mall could learn what a creek has in it and all the little
creatures that rely on it. Maybe then the people would have more respect for the creek. Then due to the fact we are a smaller town and to make it an attractive idea, let the developer make it higher than two stories in order to accommodate housing, like a seniors complex so that the developer could have a revenue base for all his investment.
Then we could have the pool, exercise room and also the walking area we want without taxing the taxpayer for this feature.
Kay Kuehnle, Aldergrove