Both the city’s aging Echo Pool and its diminishing land sale reserve fund received boosts via a surplus from the Port Alberni RCMP.
According to a report from director of finance Cathy Rothwell, the RCMP’s surplus arising from their March 31, 2016, year-end financial statements is $439,863. Of that, $150,000 is committed to filling an RCMP member vacancy and $24,500 will go towards covering the difference between estimated DNA testing and the actual amount billed.
Currently, the RCMP’s operating surplus reserve balance is at its maximum of $1 million—leaving the city with $265,362.
Rothwell said that last year’s RCMP surplus— $573,791— was split between the pool and the land sale reserve.
“I would like to have the same [this year]—have of it being sent to the land sales and the other half going towards the pool,” said Coun. Denis Sauve. Currently, Rothwell’s report stated that the land sale reserve fund stands at $100,700, including anticipated 2016 commitments.
Prior to this new injection of funding, the pool fund stood at $1.5 million out of an anticipated $20 million needed to replace it. A report from city staff is expected by the end of the year.
Speaking after the meeting, Mayor Mike Ruttan said that the city had no specific plans to fund a new pool.
“Nothing specific but there’s certainly some plans to discuss with local governments—First Nations governments and the regional district—to see what the larger community response is to what we should be doing,” said Ruttan.
“Our aquatic centre is getting towards the end of its life and its the responsible thing to discuss with the whole community how we replace it.”