The City of Victoriaâs draft budget for next year does not include a replacement for Crystal Pool, which means that the future of the project will be determined by the next Mayor and Council.
Victoria staff will give the council an overarching presentation on the draft budget on Monday (October 25), but the budget sees the pool project as an action in 2023.
Susan Simmons, an advocate for the pool, was saddened but not surprised when the news of the replacement’s postponement came.
“Based on the current advice, I am not shocked,” she said. “You always make it an election issue and then it never goes on.”
Simmons said fitness, exercise, and hangouts like Crystal Pool all help build a strong community.
“Knowing that we are still at risk of losing this facility is heartbreaking,” she said. “The current Council does not understand the role these types of institutions play in the lives of citizens.”
The draft budget provides for the development of a âplan including site selection, financing strategy and partnerships for the development of a new central libraryâ as an action point. In July, the council approved the use of 15 months and $ 200,000 to determine the feasibility of upgrading and expanding the library at its current location and the impact of moving to a new location.
According to the budget, the Crystal Pool facility has almost 90,000 visits annually.
Referring to its summer and afternoon children’s programs, fitness classes and common room, Simmons said that having an accessible and central pool facility would benefit not just North Park but the whole of Victoria.
âWe all have our places that we visit for wellness and healing. The recreation center is one of those places where the community meets. “
With files from Jane Skrypnek
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