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LETTER: Reality is new pool will likely cost substantially more

With the way delays over a proposed aquatic centre have gone, cost will likely soar over $100M
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To the Editor,

The proposed cost of a new aquatic centre for Port Alberni of $70 million, given the current amount of capital projects in our province coming in way over budget, and given the laws of probability will likely result in the aquatic centre costing more than $100 million. This new aquatic centre will likely add a minimum of $500 annually for 20 years or more to property tax bills. So think about that when you "bite the knife," to quote Chris Alemany in his letter to the editor (Bickering must end, Letters, June 5, 2024).

All you have to do is look at the North Vancouver Water treatment Plant, 10 years behind schedule and $3 billion over budget as a perfect example.
As far as expecting Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek or other rural areas outside the city to have a referendum on a new aquatic centre, that is up to the rural areas to decide if they wish to do so. And as far as calling on rural areas to unite as one, I doubt there are many rural areas that would wish to do so, given the wasteful spending by the city on developments such as the Somass Lands in a known flood plain, or another walking path when there are more areas to walk than most cities can ever dream of.

In all likelihood, given the lack of democracy today, where even property taxpayers in many municipalities can't even appear to talk about their concerns at city hall board meetings, the more likely scenario would be the Alternate Approval Process, such as that employed by the Town of Ladysmith to pay for a new city hall. Under this method, only those against an expenditure of millions of dollars have a vote.

Most taxpayers living in the real world have had to drastically curtail their spending just to keep a roof over their heads while all levels of government continue to spend beyond our ability to pay. How long do you think things can continue this way?

Tom Gowan,

Port Alberni

(Editor's note: The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has said publicly that they will employ a referendum process and will not be using the Alternate Approval Process with regards to the proposed aquatic centre.)