When I heard today that outdoor pools were not being replaced until the end of this decade, my heart sank. Almost two years ago, the Mayor claimed during a City Council meeting that he’d heard the cries of the people to keep outdoor pools like Maple Leaf Pool open. People took the Mayor at his word, as he had only been on the job a short time. The planned 3 more years of consultation, wasteful half-measure repairs, and eventual reconstruction or closures, are a broken promise by Mayor Fougere.
Mayor Michael Fougere says council listened to the public and amended the administrative report, which was released at executive committee on Jan. 21, and will now review options to invest in and make the pools more sustainable.
“We can’t be coldhearted and say we won’t listen to what the public says. They want those pools open and we are going to do that, we will just make it work,” said Fougere at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
The report says the money needed to rebuild the pools “may outweigh the benefits to the community at large for a program with such a short season.” Still, Shalley said, “At this point in time there are no plans to close any facilities.”
In 2013, the city considered a plan to decommission two pools. Residents lashed out at the proposal and it was dropped.
One option presented in this most recent report involves enhancing Wascana Pool, decommissioning Maple Leaf Pool and replacing it with cheaper recreation amenities.
That’s not what the Mayor suggested 2 years ago, and the outdoor pool party wouldn’t have backed off had he not backed down then. He’ll have to eat some crow, and stop being a pool party pooper if he doesn’t want another hard time over this latest thoughtless report from the City.
“A recent report into the condition of the city’s five outdoor pools, which range from 50 to 68 years old, offers this bottom line: They need to be rebuilt and money spent on maintenance is a waste.
In the meantime, the city anticipates spending $300,000 annually for pool repairs starting in 2015, up from about $160,000 in previous years.” – Emphasis mine.
Why spend $1,000,000 on wasted repairs over the next three years when that money could be put into rebuilding a pool next year?
““It’s not an easy decision and so we have not made the decision yet, we want public input before we make that decision,” Fougere said.
Fougere says that if they closed  pools they would take $800,000 to refurbish the other three.”
I’ve mentioned before that my tiny hometown rebuilt their Regional Park outdoor pool. There are fewer than 20 people in the nearby village. If Regina can’t keep up with the pools in rural Saskatchewan, what’s going wrong at City Hall? The Mayor thinks Regina has more pools than a city our size needs.
People of Regina have to reactivate their activism against this Mayor and Council.
-Maple Leaf Pool is behind this new playground equipment provided by the Heritage Community Association.