Pool deck, bleacher expansion best use of funds?
Re: Use of grant for pool expansion and renovation
First, let me state that I am a strong supporter of local efforts to engage our youth in any kind of physical activity and am extremely grateful for those who volunteer (are not paid) to support our youth. I have been privileged to have devoted over 30 years of volunteer service to youth all over the country and have felt it an honour to offer my meagre services to our rising generations. And so, I express my appreciation for all those who may freely serve those youth involved in the local swim club.
I appreciate the opportunity to avail myself of the Cowichan Aquatic Centre almost every day of the week. I have taken advantage of nearly every aspect of the facility and enjoy it immensely. On March 9, 2018 your publication reported a generous grant of $2.4 million from the Federal Gas Tax Fund had been obtained. However, I was a bit confused as to the determination of the allocation of the fund. Part of the fund is to be used to expand the pool deck to allow better warm up, cool-down, training, and spectator accommodation for the swim club. While I am not opposed to the swim club and recognize their tremendous contribution to the health and development of our youth, it is a private swim club, not public. To belong to the club requires the payment of fees and I assume they rent time from the local pool to train and compete. As a regular attendee at the facility and one of many who pay for my use, I have several questions regarding how the allocation of this generous fund is to be spent:
1. When was a public hearing held to discuss and debate the distribution of these funds?
2. Who determined the distribution of these funds?
3. Was there any public consultation as to how these funds might be used?
4. Who benefits from the distribution of the fund — the public, or a private club?
5. What portion of the fund will be allocated towards the expansion of the pool deck, installation of bleachers?
Now, I must admit my unfamiliarity of the numbers involved with the swim club, but I think I can safely assume that hundreds, or perhaps thousands of local youth and adults use the facility in any given year. So, who will most benefit from these funds?
Will the per capita dollar spent on the expansion of the pool deck exceed the per capita dollar spent on the rest of the facility that the swim club does not use?
Has anyone considered perhaps diverting the monies devoted to the pool deck expansion — for the benefit of a private club and likely fewer clients — to instead improving changing room facilities, or even more money to develop the second floor for needed community functions and fitness?
What about spending some money on installing lockers that are reliable, numbered, and can be used with a membership card to benefit those who pay monthly/yearly fees? What about some small bathing suit dryers?
Again, I am not opposed to spending money to help support our youth, they need every advantage they can be given in a challenging, changing world. I just hope we can look at this gift of funding as an opportunity to help the most people we can, and not a private group.