There are a lot of “I don’t know” statements circulating around the Natatorium and Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool.
© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
The Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool opened for the season on June 9, 2014. At that evening's council meeting, city council voted in favour of repairing the structural shoring in the Natatorium at a cost of $27,127 with a budget of $30,000 as soon as possible.
The building has been empty for 20 years, but is tied to the outdoor pool. The outdoor pool is still widely used, but in need of repair. Council has authorized the issuance of a request for proposals for possible redevelopment of the Nat and the outdoor pool.
However, a decision has yet to be made. It’s true that councilors can’t know what’s entirely possible until the results come back in. It’s also possible there won’t be any proposals submitted, just as it’s possible that there will be several proposals submitted. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, however, we as residents are left to question what will be done with the facility and the outdoor pool. Several residents have come before council to voice their support for the outdoor pool. The outdoor pool is a great asset to this city, an asset it would be a great shame to lose.
Either way, the Nat has been sitting empty for 20 years. Several repairs have been done, yes, but it’s not enough. City reports state that a mechanical, structural or electrical failure that could happen at any time could close both facilities.
They add that there is no funding available in the five-year capital plan for major renovations on the existing facilities or to build a new one.
Maybe what we need is to start a committee to raise funds for the pool. That could easily be part of the answer.
What remains to be made is a firm decision. We’ve been waiting a long time for a decision. The issues of the Nat and the outdoor pool have been tossed around for years. The issuance of an RFP is only a small step in what needs to be done. It will likely not be completed for another six to eight weeks at least.
Councillors need to decide, once and for all, what to do with the Natatorium and outdoor pool. There has been far too much waiting and delaying. No one wants to see the outdoor pool close.
So find a way to make that happen. Time is of the essence. Let’s turn “I don’t know” into “I do know.”
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.