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More talk about a Pitt Meadows pool

Four possible locations, says mayor
(Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS) Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall says Harris Road Pool is decades old.

Pitt Meadows has the space and the time to build a new aquatic centre and over the next year it’s going to learn if there’s the money and support for such a project.

Mayor Bill Dingwall said Monday that he’s expecting a new pool to be included into next year’s recreation master plan, the longterm document that sets out recreation priorities for several years. Dingwall noted there are four possible locations, all of which are on city property, or about to be.

“We’re fairly flush with some options,” Dingwall said Tuesday.

“There are likely at least four different locations in Pitt Meadows where it could go. In the next year though, we’ll know about what the community is interested in. Then it will be costed out.

“There are likely four areas – if there was a will by our community for us to look at that,” Dingwall said.

Those include the location of the existing outdoor Harris Road Pool; the north Lougheed area near Meadow Gardens Golf Course, on Lougheed Highway; next to Pitt Meadows city hall; or on the new sports fields on property that the Onni group is giving the city in south Bonson.

He noted the outdoor pool on Harris Road was built in the 1960s. “It’s served us well for many years, but it’s not in tip top shape. It’s at end of life.”

Dingwall added that when the joint leisure services agreement was in place with Maple Ridge there was talk about sharing the costs with Maple Ridge. That partnership ended in 2016.

Read more: Should Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows partner on pools?

“I don’t rule anything off the table. If it makes sense to our community, and potentially to Maple Ridge, then that can be explored,” Dingwall said.

The recreation master plan will determine costs and timelines.

“I think the important thing is, we’re doing the master plan now,” said Dingwall. He said Pitt Meadows’ population is approaching 20,000 people.

“It’s about bringing the community together. It all depends on affordability and whether our community wants it.”

There are other pools in neighbouring cities but if the numbers work and people want it, “it could be an absolutely great addition to our community,” Dingwall said.

Coun. Anena Simpson expects the issue to get to council for discussion this fall. “Our folks would certainly be very happy with us as a council if we can get this rolling and so I think we’d all love to see it, for sure.”

Maple Ridge Coun. Gordy Robson indicated the city would be open to any discussion, but said his only concern was that a new pool be accessible to the new RapidBus line that starts next year.

RapidBus will be stopping on Lougheed Highway, near the present Harris Road Pool, when service starts in January,

In 2017, Maple Ridge did a year-long public consultation process for a new indoor pool.

At that time, Maple Ridge council rejected the idea of adding a new pool, which could cost $70 million, to its list of recreation upgrades, and also decided against an outdoor pool near Thomas Haney. Upgrades to the pool at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre though will be complete next year.