New Aquatics Facility Determined Not Feasible in Pitt Meadows

File Number
2024-03

PITT MEADOWS, BC – City Council has concluded, after an extensive Aquatics Feasibility Study, that establishing a new aquatics facility in Pitt Meadows is not viable. This decision was made based on financial implications and risk, expected facility usage, and the accessibility of neighbouring pool options. 

“Council was determined to assess the viability of a pool for our community after hearing from residents over the years,” says Mayor Nicole MacDonald. “After an exhaustive study into options, a new pool is not recommended for Pitt Meadows at this time given cost estimates, competing priority projects, and proximity to neighbouring aquatics facilities. We understand this may not be the news some of our residents would like to hear. However, it is the responsibility of Council and City staff to ensure the responsible management of taxpayer funds.”

After reviewing estimates that include costs of construction, operating, and funding for the eventual replacement of a new pool, it was determined that a medium-sized outdoor pool could cost $39 million for construction with an estimated annual tax increase of $630 per single-family household for 40 years, while a medium-sized indoor pool could cost up to $60 million for construction with an estimated annual tax increase of $1,200 per year for a single-family household for 40 years. These annual tax increases would not be introduced in full when the facility opens since not all contributing costs would be incurred as of that date (i.e. Capital Maintenance costs). Furthermore, it is expected that after the pool’s estimated useful life, taxpayers would continue with equivalent annual tax contributions to maintain pool service level in perpetuity. 

In addition, the cost of construction of the pool (outdoor or indoor) would require assent of the electors to proceed, incurring additional costs of administering a referendum as well as $950,000 to obtain a Class C cost estimate, without the guarantee that it would be approved by residents, which may result in sunk costs of approximately $1.0 million.

“Aquatics facilities are expensive to operate and are often the most subsidized aspect of recreation services for municipalities,” says Chief Administrative Officer Mark Roberts. “The results of the Aquatics Feasibility Study, along with staff and Council expertise, have determined that our community’s smaller tax base is unable to support an enhanced level of aquatics service without a significant tax increase. Building a new pool would require tax-payer funds that need to be prioritized for other needs in the future.”

“With the decision not to proceed with an aquatics facility and after much feedback from the community, the City will be keeping the two baseball diamonds at Harris Road Park and not continue with the Harris Road Park concept plans,” says Mayor Nicole MacDonald. “Preserving these needed ball diamonds reflects Council’s dedication to providing park and recreational spaces that meet our community’s needs while balancing responsible taxpayer impacts.”

The City undertook an Aquatics Feasibility Study in 2023 to better understand and assess the community’s aquatic facility needs and explore a range of indoor and outdoor pool facility options and their associated cost impacts. Community input was collected at a variety of opportunities, including two survey periods in the spring and summer, as well as an open house booth at the 2023 Pitt Meadows Day event. Engagement efforts resulted in over 1,600 responses and interactions from residents, community partners, and experts.

The City’s focus will remain on maintaining and rehabilitating the Harris Road Outdoor Pool for as long as it is serviceable in order to continue offering aquatics facilities in Pitt Meadows.

To learn more about the Aquatics Feasibility Study, please visit pittmeadows.ca/aquatics
 

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For more information please contact:
Stephanie St. Jean
Director of Corporate Services
City of Pitt Meadows
communications@pittmeadows.ca