Should Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows partner on pools?

Should Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows partner on pools?

Pitt Meadows mayor suggest joint planning with Maple Ridge

Mayor John Becker said Pitt Meadows council should reach out to Maple Ridge about joint pool planning.

Pitt Meadows is considering a new pool and Maple Ridge is also in a pool planning process, noted Becker.

“There’s no reason why we couldn’t entertain a joint planning function with Maple Ridge to determine whether their planning process could exclude some of the features in a Pitt Meadows facility, so that there would be complementary facilities rather than gaps or redundancies,” said Becker.

The two communities were formerly partners in recreation and culture, until Maple Ridge ended the joint leisure services agreement in October 2016.

Pitt Meadows now has developed its own recreation department.

Becker noted the previous funding model, under the agreement, was roughly 80-20 per cent, based on the populations of the two cities. He said there is no indication Maple Ridge would be interested in joint planning, nor whether it would be interested in contributing operating funds, or capital funds, to a Pitt Meadows pool.

“We should be reaching out to our colleagues and saying, ‘We have this opportunity…. so why don’t we get together and talk,’” explained Becker.

The opportunity for Pitt Meadows is a pre-used modular Myrtha competition pool, which was used for the 2016 Fina World Swimming Championships in Windsor, Ont. It would be available at a significant discount from the price of a new modular pool. It uses laminated stainless steel panels rather than traditional concrete, and at 25-by-25 metres, would provide a 10-lane competition pool.

Pitt Meadows staff showed council options for a pool that ranged from $6 million to $10 million.

Maple Ridge is currently seeking public approval to build a new outdoor pool, and council started a public consultation on a new indoor aquatic centre.

Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read has not heard any overtures about pool planning from Pitt Meadows, but said the initial conversations would take place at a staff level, and that may be happening.

She was surprised, because when the two cities had discussed building pools in the past, Pitt Meadows said it would be better off attending pools in other cities, as opposed to building its own pool.

“Everything we were hearing was that they weren’t doing it,” said Read, who has already announced that she will not seek re-election in next fall’s municipal elections.

She said Maple Ridge’s growth has been all in the east, in Silver Valley and Albion, and that’s where the city needs to build recreation facilities.

Pitt Meadows councillors asked staff to prepare a community engagement plan to receive feedback on purchasing the pre-used Myrtha Competition Pool, and to research various topics, including on-going operating costs, more refined construction costs, the addition of leisure pool elements and covering the pool.

Becker admitted the pool issue came seemingly out of nowhere.

He explained he learned about the opportunity to purchase the discounted pool from conversations with Maple Ridge Coun. Gordy Robson, when they met first at a Rotary Club meeting, then again at an airport board meeting.

“I didn’t think we would be talking about a pool in this term, or the next three or four, but it’s something that’s here and now, and may be an opportunity,” Becker said.

He has learned from Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MLA Lisa Beare, the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, and MP Dan Ruimy that these senior governments are working on a new grants program “that may well fit this kind of facility to a T.”

Becker said the typical funding is 40 per cent federal, 33 per cent provincial and the balance from other sources, including municipal funding.

Pitt Meadows Coun. Bill Dingwall spoke against the pool, calling it another issue that will drain staff time.

“The reason it’s still for sale is probably pretty telling – it’s not an easy fit,” he said.

The public likes lazy rivers, hot tubs and leisure pools.

“This is not that. This is a rectangle,” added Dingwall.

Pitt Meadows Coun. Janis Elkerton said ongoing operating costs are her main concern. She said residents will soon be able to enjoy a new $132 million Port Coquitlam recreation centre that is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019.

Elkerton also observed that sharing pool costs was the genesis of the original recreation agreement between Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

“Then it morphed into everything else.”

Just Posted

LETTER: Pandemic fight in stark contrast to Second World War unity, Maple Ridge man says

What if people of the Allied nations thought only of themselves during battle to defeat Hitler?

The draw for May’s Shop Local & Win contest takes place June 4, 2021. (Special to The News)
Open your wallet close to home and win

Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce hosts shop local competition

Brian Malfesi and his partner Vincent Jourdenais have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge kayak racer qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Malfesi is first B.C. sprint paddler to race for Team Canada at Olympics in 33 years

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Chamber of commerce for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows hosts Conservative leader

Erin O’Toole and MP Dalton part of online Zoom meeting on Monday

A photo of Telosky Stadium from the Maple Ridge Museum and Archives. (Special to The News)
Telosky Stadium opened in Haney on this day in 1950

Maple Ridge Museum and Archives marks special day in local sporting history

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

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

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Mandarin Garden in Abbotsford had two event tents set up for outdoor dining. One of the tents, valued at more than $5,000, was stolen early Friday morning (May 14). (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Dining tent stolen from Abbotsford restaurant is located

Owner says it would have cost more than $5,000 to replace the rented event tent

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Most Read