The president of the Nelson Neptunes asks whether a prolonged closure of the Nelson aquatic centre next year is really necessary.

LETTER: Neptunes president questions pool closure

As the president of the Neptune swim team I was saddened and dismayed to be told of the recreation commission’s plans for the Nelson pool.

As the president of the Nelson Neptune swim team I was saddened and dismayed to be told of the recreation commission’s plans for the Nelson pool that were presented at the meeting held on November 6.

We have all been told that this renovation is absolutely necessary and I do believe that some parts of it are. Other parts though I question. For instance one proposed change is the relocation of the guardroom from its current location to the existing viewing area. Another change will see the bulkhead that separates the shallow pool from the lap lanes modified in a way that may affect the team’s ability to race and hold swim meets.

When this was pointed out at the meeting the architect and commission seemed surprised; are there any more surprises and they are planning that may have long term adverse affects on not only the swim team, but on other NDCC pool users such as seniors and school programs affecting ongoing cash flow? To have this come up so late in the planning stage is a real concern.

Could this $4.5 million, nine-month renovation be pared back to the absolute necessities and if so what would that look like? Would it be $2 million and four or five months of closure? Unfortunately we don’t know because we have never been presented with options. The total project and its huge cost was arrived at without any public or user group consultation. It seems to be too much to put onto local taxpayers and too detrimental to swim clubs.

In summary why is there no public representation on the recreation commission from involved user groups and demographics, and why is it so difficult to find and attend these meetings?  Where is the public process in all of this? I for one would like to see some more transparency with these processes and encourage all of my fellow citizens to vote for change on November 15.

Paul Cowan, Nelson

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