Saturday, July 20, 2024

Victoria residents to vote in referendum on location of Crystal Pool replacement

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How to go about building a replacement for Victoria’s Crystal Pool has been a hot topic in city council for the past 20 years with several attempts to build a new facility being shot down. 

On Thursday, June 13th, council heard a thorough and detailed report from staff on how the City could go about building a replacement and the pros and cons of three locations it could potentially end up. 

After several hours of amendments to the original staff recommendation, the city council decided it would be best to build a replacement facility in Central Park, either in the northern section of the park or the south. 

The Central Park North site has been determined by City staff to be the cheapest and quickest option, but the current Crystal Pool would need to be shut down as construction begins, whereas the south site would mean the pool could stay open longer.


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However, the Central Park south site would be more expensive and the city council does not want to put undue pressure on the City’s taxpayers. 

The City has funding that can be put towards this project in their reserves, but they will need to borrow a massive amount of money in order to make this happen. 

To build at the Central Park north or south sites would mean the City would need to borrow up to an estimated $168.9 million. 

The council also opted to let the public make the final decisions on this massive undertaking. 

In 2025, a referendum will be held in which Victoria residents will get to make two decisions: whether or not the City should borrow up to $168.9 million and which site should be chosen. 

All of this discussion and debate led to a unanimous vote in favour of having City staff begin to put the wheels in motion of preparing for a referendum.

mm
Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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