The municipality of Summerland is starting a 10-week information sharing campaign about the new recreation centre and pool for the community.
The referendum will be held Saturday, Nov. 4, with advance voting on Wednesday, Oct. 25 and Tuesday, Oct. 31.
In the referendum, Summerland residents and non-resident property owners will be asked if they are in favour of the municipality borrowing up to $50 million for detailed design and construction of a new multi-purpose recreational facility.
The new facility will include an aquatic centre with a six-lane lap pool, a leisure pool, hot tub and steam room or sauna, a fitness centre, a multi-purpose fitness room, a multi-purpose family and youth room, universal access and family change rooms, a lobby, pool viewing, reception and administrative offices.
The new facility, if approved, would meet modern energy efficient building standards.
The proposed facility would replace the existing Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre.
The existing building was constructed in 1976. At the time, Summerland’s population was around half of what it is at present.
The aquatic centre is at the end of its life. In addition to significant and ongoing building and maintenance issues, the energy consumption of the existing facility is around 86 per cent more energy per unit of floor area than the average swimming pool.
“Council knows the proposed Summerland Recreation Centre is a significant project for our community and having a fulsome and open discussion about it is critical,” said mayor Doug Holmes. “That’s why the district is fully committed to taking these next 10 weeks to go through detailed information about how we got here, what’s included in the facility, and how this type of investment would impact Summerland taxpayers.”
Municipal staff will host tours of the existing facilities, hold open houses and pop-up booths at community events, as well as presentations to community groups. Information will also be shared on the municipality’s Facebook page.
“We want to make sure voters are able to make a well-informed decision based on accurate, fact-based data. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to learn about the project and be part of the conversation,” Holmes said. “The decision we make collectively will help shape the future of our community.”
In addition to in-person engagements, news sharing and social media posts, the municipality has developed an interactive webpage where all related information is available. The page is hosted by the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen Regional Connections website, although the proposed Recreation Centre is a Summerland-specific project and referendum, not a regional one.
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