Cayden Smood jumps off the rope swing at Echo Pool during First Night on New Year’s Eve. NEWS FILE PHOTO

Cayden Smood jumps off the rope swing at Echo Pool during First Night on New Year’s Eve. NEWS FILE PHOTO

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District dives into pool discussions

Facilitated discussion will be funded by the city of Port Alberni

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) has joined the discussion about a potential replacement for the city-owned Echo Aquatic Centre.

In August of 2017, the city of Port Alberni approached the ACRD about taking on a leadership role in the development of a new aquatic centre in the Alberni Valley. The current city-owned pool, built as a centennial project 50 years ago, is reaching the end of its service life.

READ: More discussion needed for replacing Echo Aquatic Centre

READ: Aquatic Centre still in good shape, says director

A letter dated May 2 indicates that the ACRD intends to host facilitated discussions with elected officials from both the city and the regional district to discuss next steps and interest. The ACRD will be enlisting the services of a consultant, and asked the city to fund this facilitation at a cost of $5,500 plus GST.

“I think that would show our support as a municipality in those efforts of the regional district,” said Willa Thorpe, director of parks, recreation and heritage, during a Monday, May 14 meeting of council.

City CAO Tim Pley added that the city is being asked to fund this venture because it comes from a city request.

“It seems reasonable that the city would not expect the regional district to incur costs while exploring something that we asked them to do,” he said.

The city currently has funding in reserve that has been set aside for a new pool, so the $5,500 will come from that fund.

The facilitated discussion, which has not been scheduled yet, will be open to interested members of the public.

Do you think a new aquatic centre should become a regional project encompassing both the city and the ACRD? Vote in our online poll here.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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