Thunder Bay council debates pool's future
Dease Pool requires most funding to bring up to code, city report says
A report going to Thunder Bay city council Monday night raises questions about the future of a popular city-run swimming pool.
The report by city staff says millions of dollars in upgrades are needed for three pools to bring them up to code: Widnall, Heath Park and Dease.
Widnall Pool can continue to run with preventative maintenance and Heath Pool needs close to $300,000 to repair a foundation wall and do some waterproofing. However, Dease Pool — a century-old facility — requires more than $1 million in repairs.
Building a new pool to current code could cost more than $3 million.
Administration recommends closing Dease by 2016 and replacing it.
"In my mind, one of the options is to build a new pool,” said Councillor Andrew Foulds, who has been outspoken on the issue of maintaining pools.
"I'm not dogmatic, I will look at options. But, I'm going to tell you, I'm a huge supporter of swimming pools."
Foulds said he's prepared to weigh other options, like building a splash pad or other recreational facility.
Dease Pool is used the least of the three pools up for discussion at Monday’s council meeting.
Average annual average use by swimmers, measured from 2008-2012, is 5,487 for Dease, 9,048 for Heath Park and 18,724 for Widnall Pool.
All three pools are underused by residents, the report says.
Track developments at city council Monday night by following CBC News Thunder Bay reporter Jeff Walters on Twitter: @jeffwalterscbc.