Controversial facts to be publicized

As Feb. 16 pool vote looms, committee vies for disclosure

Newspaper advertisements, signage, human engagement.

The pool committee laid out strategies last week to garner support for the construction of a $12-million aquatic facility in Vanderhoof.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23, the committee established dates for open houses in Vanderhoof and Cluculz Lake on Nov. 20 and 21, respectively, to promote the project and clarify concerns about costs.

“We need everyone to bring two friends who are excited about the pool and start building this group,” said Councillor Brian Frenkel, a committee member and supporter of the aquatic facility.

Council scheduled a referendum on Feb. 16 to gain the electorate’s approval to borrow $4 million to invest in building the aquatic facility, but the committee is already looking elsewhere for the remaining $8 million.

Councillors Frenkel and Steve Little, chair of the committee, identified three major industrial employers who they would soon approach for larger contributions.

In the next few weeks, the pool committee plans to launch a new website, independent from the municipality, containing frequently asked questions, point-blank facts and the findings of a $37,000 feasibility study that the committee didn’t release publicly until late October.

The study, completed in August 2012, contains a wealth of information about two conceptual designs for an aquatic facility, including floor plans, demographics, staffing requirements and capital costs.

The study also reviews in comprehensive detail the budgetary expenditures of pool facilities in McKenzie, Revelstoke, Fernie and other communities with populations similar to Vanderhoof.

In October, the committee released a Business Case for an Aquatic Facility.

“There are only a few of us in this room who have been privy to that,” said committee member Jim Eadie.

Eadie said the committee should be completely transparent with financial figures, disclosing on paper handouts the amount of interest and principal the town would pay on the $4 million loan.

The idea was criticized by fellow committee member Paul Stewart, who recommended that it be quashed to avoid spreading misunderstanding over how the loan would be repaid.

“That’s why it’s dangerous to be putting that full business case out there,” he said.

A general consensus was reached when Eadie, Frenkel and committee member Nicole Ebert suggested that the most controversial and confusing facts about the project be listed on a document with full explanations.

“And that’s what our ethic is right away; to get some kind of understanding on the issue of payback,” said Stewart.

Stewart and Little recommended that the website include a widget enabling stakeholders to calculate the amount of additional taxes they would pay if a pool were built in Vanderhoof.

Administrative officials at the municipal office confirmed on Thursday, Oct. 25, that construction of an aquatic facility would cause tax rates to rise $612 for major industries, $452.28 for light industries, $86.81 for homeowners and $263.04 for businesses for every $100,000 of assessments.

This article has been edited to reflect the following correction on Dec. 3, 2012:

An article on controversies associated with the construction of an aquatic facility in Vanderhoof erroneously identified the PERC document that Jim Eadie, a member of the pool committee, was referring to while speaking about the issue of transparency. Eadie was speaking about the Business Case for an Aquatic Facility, which wasn’t immediately made public by the pool committee.

 

Just Posted

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read