Indoor pool is a costly venture
Operating an indoor aquatic centre is very costly, according to a report discussed at the Parks and Rec meeting on October 15.
Manager of Recreation Bob Grant said he researched the pool-operating costs of five communities similar in size to Oliver. (He did this after the board was requested to look into the cost of transforming the Oliver pool into a year-round covered facility.)
Grant noted it costs Summerland $521,000 to operate its aquatic centre. In Merritt, the cost is $780,000, while Kimberley pays $800,000. Lillooet pays $106,000.
Grant said the board will be surveying households asking if they support a year-round pool and how much people are willing to pay for it. An open house may follow.
Budget sees no increase
The board has done it again – a zero per cent increase in the budget.
Manager of Recreation Bob Grant said they reduced tangible capital assets in order to offset an increase in the 2013 budget.
“We’re very happy about that,” he noted.
The board is on a roll. It achieved a zero per cent tax increase in last year’s budget too.
Board waiting for grant money
The board is still waiting for approval of a $123,000 infrastructure grant to expand the weight room at the community centre.
Manager of Recreation Bob Grant said the weight room is one of their biggest revenue makers. If the room is expanded, Parks and Rec could see their revenue triple in size, Grant said.
Board eyes master plan
Directors are considering undertaking a new “master plan” to update the vision of Oliver Parks and Rec.
Bob Grant said the last master plan was done in 1981. A new one would cost about $50,000, but would give the society a direction for the future.
A questionnaire will determine if people are happy with current services and facilities, and what they are prepared to pay to improve them.
Octoberfest event praised
Bob Grant reported that the Octoberfest event at the new community stage on October 13 was a huge hit.
“The five local bands did an outstanding job. People really enjoyed themselves,” Grand said, noting the event attracted between 120-150 people.
He noted Parks and Rec hopes to put on more outdoor concerts like this one. He added that next year’s Octoberfest will have more food vendors.
Grant recognized Terry Baptiste for pushing this event with only three weeks to spare, and for Sid Ruhland’s help as well. He also recognized recreation program manager Katie Eaton for all her work.