Referendum on the horizon for Indoor Aquatic Centre in Golden

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) will be moving towards a referendum to determine whether residents of Electoral Area A and the Town of Golden will fund the development of a new indoor aquatic centre. 

At the May 20, 2021 Regular Meeting, Directors approved a plan for CSRD staff to proceed with the preparations and community consultation needed for a referendum, planned to be held in conjunction with the next local government election on October 15, 2022.

CSRD Directors received the Golden and Electoral Area A Aquatic Centre Feasibility Study Report, which outlines the extensive community consultation process leading to a determination of preferred options for the facility. This includes the development of a six-lane lap pool, a leisure pool, sauna and steam room, hot pool and multipurpose room. The report includes a design plan that adds on to the current arena facility, as well as construction and operational cost estimates.

After project consultant Paul Fast from HCMA Architecture + Design presented the report, the CSRD Board voted unanimously for staff to take the required steps to bring the proposal to a public vote. A referendum of affected voters will be necessary because the CSRD will have to borrow funds to build the facility.

Preliminary designs have been completed with an estimated total project cost of $31.2 million. The CSRD, with the continued involvement of a local working group, will be exploring opportunities to reduce costs to the taxpayer through grants, business donations and other fundraising activities.

Electoral Area A Director Karen Cathcart had high praise for the community engagement process, which saw public open house events taking place before COVID-19-related shut-downs. The engagement process continued in 2020 with more than 1,000 participants completing an interactive survey.

“Residents of the community are asking us to move forward, to support the process and go to the next stage… There is a lot of work to do to raise funds, get sponsorships and grants. Moving towards a referendum is the best opportunity for this to become a reality,” she told the Board.

Additional information about the project can be found on the Golden On Deck website located at www.goldenondeck.ca

Photos: Proposed design renderings of the exterior and poolside view of the proposed Indoor aquatic facility. (HCMA Architecture + Design)

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