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Gibsons Pool Reopening Advances

Gibsons Pool Reopening Advances

As of Nov 12, the SCRD is employing an accelerated option to restart operations at Gibsons Pool. While that will see swimmers allowed back “as soon as possible”, staff said it could take up to eight weeks to re-open the facility which closed in mid March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SCRD Board also accepted the Town of Gibsons’ offer of $5,000 to fund capital improvements to safely re-open the site. The Board asked SCRD staff to begin discussions with their counterparts in Gibsons on the potential to use the remaining balance in the Town’s Muriel Haynes Trust Fund for construction of a multi-purpose room at the facility. Following those talks, staff is to report back to a future SCRD Committee meeting on that subject.
Re-opening of the pool has been complicated by the Nov 7 Provincial Health Authority order for the region to limit group activities until Nov 23. Another complicating factor is staffing. With the facility closed for over seven months, many of its existing staff are not available to resume their employment on short notice.
The Board had previously committed to consider reopening the facility in early 2021. Resumption of activities at the pool at an earlier date could add up to another $22,500 to the SCRD’s recreational services deficit in 2020. In debating the accelerated reopening, Roberts Creek Area Director Andreas Tize said that the Board has the “unenviable task” of making financial decisions in the best interest of Coast residents. He noted that the Board received about 100 pieces of communication in support of immediate reopening of the facility. He said that he doubted that each of those 100 people would be willing to contribute an additional $225 in taxes to pay for that to happen.
Speaking in favour of an early re-start, Elphinstone Area Director Donna McMahon stated that the Board needed to provide facilities for people to exercise and socialize in a safe way. “It will be a difficult holiday season and we need to make options available for families over Christmas,” said McMahon.

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