The Harris Park pool in Pitt Meadows will not be open for the 2021 season. (The News files)

The Harris Park pool in Pitt Meadows will not be open for the 2021 season. (The News files)

Pitt Meadows closes pool for the coming season

COVID-19 safety measures would limit swimmers at Harris Park pool

Pitt Meadows city council closed the Harris Road Outdoor pool for the 2021 pool season, due to COVID-19.

It will be the second straight summer the pool has been dry.

“In line with provincial guidelines, the pool should only be operated if adequate controls can be maintained at all times,” manager of engineering and facilities Salia Ahrabian told council at Tuesday’s council meeting.

She said it is a small tank, with a normal capacity of 62 swimmers at a time, but that would be reduced dramatically during the pandemic.

With COVID-19 controls and guidelines, including physical distancing of two meters at all times, the pool would be reduced to between nine and 12 bathers during public swimming, and just six people during lane swimming. So staff recommended not having a 2021 season, and noted the Harris Road Spray Park will be operational from June to September.

Coun. Tracy Miyashita said it would be impossible for staff to enforce the two meters social distancing requirement.

“Have fun, but stay in one spot,” she said facetiously. “It doesn’t make sense, to me, to keep it open.”

“We closed this pool last summer, and we had a lot less cases than we do now,” added Miyashita.

If it opened, there could also be no spectators, public swimming must be pre-booked, and there can be no swim toys or flotation devices. Patrons would arrive ready to swim, and leave without using showers.

There would be defined swim times, with defined cleaning times in between. The additional cleaning would be a contributing factor in swelled operating costs, from $76,000 to $110,000 – a hike of about 46 per cent.

Coun. Anena Simpson clarified the additional cost could be covered by a provincial COVID-19 grant, which is intended to cover additional expenses. She and Coun. Mike Hayes were the dissenting voices, and spoke in favour of keeping the pool open.

READ ALSO: Pitt Meadows receives $3.7 million for COVID-19 costs

Simpson called it “a wonderful resource” and “a very important resource for families in the summer.”

“I can’t think of a better way to use the provincial grant, than to keep this pool open for our families,” she said.

Simpson proposed the pool be made available for families to reserve in one-hour blocks, for people in the same household.

Hayes noted surrounding communities have their pools open, and that the lowest COVID case numbers occurred during summer.

“We have been through a lot. Our kids have been through so much,” added Hayes. “It’s a small service, but I think it’s important to have for our residents.”

READ ALSO: B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

Coun. Gwen O’Connell noted “the variants are just starting, we don’t know what’s going to happen, and I’m terrified of that.”

Coun. Nicole MacDonald also said health and safety was her main concern, noting her own daughter’s sport team has a positive case.

The city intends to operate the pool in 2022.


Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City CouncilPitt Meadowsrecreation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two new Maple Ridge schools have COVID-19 exposures

Alouette elementary and Maple Ridge secondary visited by virus

Ridge Meadows RCMP Const. Britteny George and Westview students turned old tires into pet beds. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge students help turn old tires into pet beds

Westview art classes and RCMP constable take on project

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Conservative MP Marc Dalton and former MP and Liberal candidate Dan Ruimy.
Dalton slams budget, Ruimy defends Liberal spending

Neither politician sees federal budget triggering an election

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Most Read