With a referendum for a proposed $12 million pool in Vanderhoof coming up this year, the pool committee are working hard to make the facility as financially viable as possible.
During the last week, members of the committee have been speaking to neighboring communities in attempt to muster up some financial support for the building and maintenance of a pool here in town.
If the financial burden is placed solely on Vanderhoof area residents, taxes would be too high and the referendum would surely fail, once again.
The proposed pool is an essential facility for the area, and it will be a great ‘pull factor’ for many thinking of moving into the area, as well as increasing the quality of life for those already living here.
The pool committee has been working hard to lower the financial burden on residents that may have been the main cause of the failure to build a pool before now. They have proposed that the communities of Fraser Lake and Fort St. James and the two surrounding areas, take on $25,000 a year to help maintain the pool. For the average household in Fort St. James for example, this will increase taxes by $11 a year.
Not a huge financial burden to the individual, for a facility that will be of great use to many.
At the moment, many residents from Vanderhoof, Fort St. James and Fraser Lake, will make the trip to a pool in Prince George. The committee has worked out that the average cost for a single trip is about $81 when considering fuel and other costs, not to mention the time is takes to get there and back.
I really hope that the communities of Fort St. James, Fraser Lake and the surrounding areas, will at least give some strong consideration to what the pool committee is asking for.
I already have heard there has been some backlash in Fort St. James to the request.
We really need to think about one big picture rather than individual people, or individual communities.
Just as Vanderhoof has supported ideas and development that are not in our immediate area. For example, just last year the District of Vanderhoof made moves to support development at Murray Ridge Ski Hill. Although not in our town, it is an attraction to the area, and thereby benefits the area as a whole – not just Fort St. James, and so we got behind it. Thinking as individual communities will only hinder and stifle future development for the area.
We need to come together to make this pool happen.