The Columbia-Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) has announced that the Aquatics Centre referendum will be added to the General Election ballot, setting the official date for the referendum for Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.
Citizens in Electoral Area A and the Town of Golden will be able to cast their vote on the development of the proposed indoor aquatics centre, which has been in the works over the past few years.
The CSRD says that having the referendum combined with the general election will reduce the cost and increase voter participation.
The referendum question is still to be determined. It will be announced later in 2022, once more information has been obtained through the next phases of the project.
Currently, the indoor aquatic centre has an estimated price tag of $31.2 million. Costs to the taxpayer could be significantly reduced though the successful application for grant programs, as well as from corporate and citizen contributions.
A fundraising strategy is currently in the works, with KEA Canada LTD getting hired earlier this month to develop and deliver the strategy.
In the fall of 2019, the CSRD hired HCMA Architecture + Design to carry out a feasibility study that included receiving input from the community. The study determined priorities around functional programming, guiding principles, and vision for a new indoor aquatic centre.
The overall goal was to ensure that a potential facility is anchored to the needs and identity of the community.
The final report was received at a May 20 meeting, which outlines the extensive community consultation process leading to a determination of preferred options for the facility.
Those options include 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.
The proposed site contains the arena, curling rink (both to remain) and the current outdoor pool (to be removed).
According to the technical briefing from HCMA Architecture + Design, over $1.3 million in repairs and replacements will be required by 2026 for the current outdoor pool, which was built in 1978.
Community engagement kicked off in 2020 and has been ongoing for nearly a year, with an interactive online survey and open houses for information and feedback.
The entire report, as well as other documents, can be viewed at the goldenondeck.ca website.