The pool committee meets for a final time tonight at 7 p.m. before holding open houses in Vanderhoof and Cluculz Lake on November 20 and 21, respectively.
The meeting was arranged to finalize presentations for the open houses, which will play a fundamental role in garnering support for the construction of a $12-million aquatic facility in Vanderhoof.
Last week, the committee unveiled a new website, Vanderhoofpool.ca, that will soon contain important documents, dates and answers to frequently asked questions.
A promotional and awareness tool, the website will also offer estimations about the social and economic benefits thought to be associated with an aquatic facility, as well as the financial costs to homeowners, businesses and industries in the community.
Eventually, the committee will provide conceptual designs and describe the layout of a proposed aquatic facility on the website.
The committee is also proposing to incorporate a kind of public forum where visitors can submit questions related to the construction of a multimillion-dollar indoor pool in Vanderhoof.
Both the website and the open houses were established in part to inform the public of the pool referendum on Feb. 16, 2013, when electors will decide whether the municipality can borrow $4-million to put towards building the aquatic facility.
“The purpose is to get the right information out to everybody, so when it comes time for the referendum, they’ll have the information to base their opinion on,” said Councillor Steve Little, chair of the pool committee.
Early next year, the pool committee plans to start campaigning in the communities of Braeside and Mapes, and reaching out to large organizations with large memberships, such as the Cattleman’s Association and the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of Vanderhoof, for additional support in the run-up to the referendum.
“We’re going to try and hit everybody we possibly can,” said Little.
Questions have surfaced in the past about the amount of interest the town would pay on the $4-million loan and how it would affect tax rates.
If the $4-million loan is approved at the referendum, the town would make principle and interest payments of approximately $275,000 per year for 30 years, the municipality confirmed on Thursday, Nov. 8.
The pool committee pointed out last week 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.
For the committee and many members of the public, the aquatic facility is more important than just dollar figures and is expected to attract families and skilled workers to the community.
According to Councillor Little, 85 per cent of the senior staff at the Canfor Plateau Saw Mill live in Prince George because there is no aquatic facility in Vanderhoof.
“We’re in competition with the rest of Canada,” said Councillor Brian Frenkel, a committee member and fervent supporter of the aquatic facility.