Pitt Meadows could be getting a slightly used pool, for $6 million or more.
“Doesn’t it sound odd – a used pool,” said Coun. Tracy Miyashita.
She reviewed a city staff report on Tuesday about an opportunity to purchase a pre-used modular Myrtha Competition Pool that had been set up in Windsor, Ont. for the 2016 FINA World Swimming Championships.
Miyashita said it is an interesting proposal.
The pool is 25 metres square, and can accomodate up to 10 lanes. Myrtha builds pools using laminated stainless steel panels, as an alternative to traditional concrete pools.
The report says the city could accomodate the pool on a lot between the Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre and the Westbrook Seniors Living Community.
There are other elements that could be added, such as a hot tub, lazy river, beach edge entry and tot area. The facility could be fully or partly covered, and staff presented the option of an aluminum “Sprung Innovations” cover.
It could also have its own changerooms, or have renovations to connect it to the rec centre.
Miyashita said the community wants an indoor pool, but council has found that the approximately $20 million price tag, combined with the close proximity of pools in neighbouring cities, made one not feasible.
But if the city got a used, modular pool, currently stored in Windsor, there could be substantial savings.
“I will absolutely support public engagement,” said Miyashita. “Let’s see what the community has to say about it.”
The councillor had a career in recreation, having been the Pitt Meadows recreation coordinator, and training swimming instructors and lifeguards all over B.C. for the Red Cross.
“I’ve seen pretty much every pool in B.C.,” she said.
She has seen community pools built in greenhouses and heated with a wood-burning furnace.
“This is like buying a mobile home,” she said. “I can’t answer whether it would fit what the community vision of a pool would be.”
Council was to consider a motion to have staff prepare a community engagement plan for feedback on the pool plan, and research operating and construction costs and potential pool coverings.
Maple Ridge city council also considered the used Myrtha pool.
General manager of parks, recreation and culture Kelly Swift said Maple Ridge council has not yet reached a place in the process where it has decided on an outdoor pool design, but a Myrtha pool would be considered.
“We looked at it, and at a staff level, we think it’s a good product,” she said. “We’re not pursuing it at this time.”
The Pitt Meadows city hall staff report said council will need to consider competing uses for the land in question, which could include a fire hall or other recreation amenities, and operating costs.
The cost to borrow would range from a tax increase of 1.9 per cent for $6 million or 3.2 per cent for $10 million to cover debt servicing.
Any borrowing over $3 million would require public approval through either a vote or via an alternative approval process.
In the latter case, council could not proceed with borrowing if less than 10 per cent of the electorate did not oppose it.