Talking about the outdoor pool

Lisa Goudy
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Three residents show support for outdoor pool at council

Margot Keeler came back early from her yearlong European travels primarily because of the outdoor pool.

However, now that she’s back, she isn’t pleased.

“I’m appalled that there’s any consideration that we should let such a unique and absolutely beautiful, valuable, incredible, superior facility (close),” she said. “If we lose this, we lose something truly special.”

She addressed her concerns at Monday’s council meeting.

“As leaders I hope that you will demonstrate a can-do attitude and create problem-solving in the face of apparent adversity,” said Keeler. “As advocates, I hope that you will refuse to allow items that we have to be struck from the list and relegated to the have-not column.”

She suggested forming a committee to look at how awareness and funds could be raised regarding the Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool and Natatorium. She added she would be willing to volunteer on such a committee and contribute money to a project-specific plan for the pool.

Keeler wasn’t the only displeased resident who raised her concerns regarding the pool at Monday’s meeting. Roberta Pilsner and Laloni Fox also brought forward some concerns.

“We question the current process that is underway and the lack of consultation with city residents on this issue,” said Pilsner.

“We still have more people signing this form saying that they are concerned about the outdoor pool and its possible closure,” added Fox.

Some of their concerns include issues that might affect future operation of the pool, the effects on Crescent Park and the effects on the community and tourism.

Coun. Candis Kirkpatrick said she believes councillors are being proactive.

“I still say that putting out an RFP to see what’s out there does not spell demise for the outdoor pool,” she said. “I think that we’ve gone from point A to point M and we haven’t really explored everything in between … My mom danced on the floor in the ‘30s.

“So it holds a place in my heart as well, but I feel like I have to also look at practically. I need to see what’s coming to us before I can say what we’re going to do.”

Coun. Dawn Luhning was adamant that the city needs an outdoor pool.

“I’m already appalled that this council has proved that the RFP go out with the inclusion of the outdoor pool in it,” she said. “I believe the outdoor pool should be kept and it should stay where it is. We should either refurbish it or determine if we can afford a new one or what we’re going to do.”

A parks and recreation department report said all major Saskatchewan cities have outdoor pools except Yorkton, Estevan and North Battleford.

According to the report, in 2013 from June to September, there were 14,544 people who used the outdoor pool. The projected 2013 recovery rate for the outdoor pool is 21 per cent.

In 2012, there were 14.245 people who used the outdoor pool. The 2012 recovery rate was 22 per cent.

The Kinsmen Sportsplex Indoor Pool, on the other hand, saw 20,840 people use the pool from June to August in 2013. The projected 2013 recovery rate is 34 per cent.

In 2012, the indoor pool saw 23,929 people use the pool in the same time frame. The 2012 recovery rate was 42 per cent.

Jody Hauta, director of parks and recreation, said the RFP is being finalized right now and will likely go out this week or next week. It will probably be a six to eight-week process to have the RFP out followed by evaluations.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool

Geographic location: Crescent Park, Saskatchewan, Yorkton North Battleford

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