DowntownPG supports pool and firehall referenda

 

Downtown Prince George has thrown its support behind the October 28 referenda to replace the Four Seasons Pool and Firehall #1.

“The Downtown Prince George board of directors are supportive of new development and improved infrastructure in our downtown,” said Eoin Foley, Downtown Prince George president, in a letter to city council. “We are encouraged by the plans to build an enhanced and modern pool facility that will remain in our downtown and that will become a gathering place for residents and visitors.”

The city is seeking approval to borrow up to $35 million to replace the Four Seasons Pool. The plan are to relocate it to the property currently occupied by the Days Inn. The proposal will cost an additional $4.5 million to acquire the Days Inn property and $2.5 million to demolish the pool and Days Inn. That money will come out of reserves.

In a separate question, the city is also seeking approval to borrow up to $15 million to replaced Firehall #1 with a new facility on Massey Drive. The new facility, according to city staff, will improve response times for fire crews.

“We agree that the downtown location (for the pool) is critical to our ongoing efforts of advancing our downtown and attracting more people into the core with improved amenities and services,” wrote Foley. “The Downtown Prince George board of directors also appreciates that a better firehall location in a more central location will benefit the entire community.”

Foley encouraged other groups and organizations to contact the city to find out more information about the plans for the pool and firehall and the referendum.

As voting day, October 28, approaches, there are several important dates and information sessions.

Public information opportunities:

  • Monday, October 16, 2017, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the College of New Caledonia (CNC) in the atrium.
  • Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 12:30-3 p.m., in the Canfor Winter Garden at the University of Northern BC (UNBC). The mayor and city manager will give a short presentation starting at 12:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 4:30-8 p.m., at the Four Seasons Leisure Pool (775 Dominion Street).
  • Saturday, October 21, 2017, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the centre court at Pine Centre Mall (3055 Massey Drive).

Last month, city officials also held open houses at the current and proposed locations of Fire Hall #1. In addition, staff hosted two “digital town halls” to answer questions from residents and news media. Video of the town halls is available online:

Advance voting opportunities:

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at UNBC (3333 University Way) in Room 7-170 of the Bentley Centre (note: pay parking is in effect) AND at Prince George City Hall (1100 Patricia Boulevard).
  • Thursday, October 19, 2017, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the College of New Caledonia (3330 22nd Avenue) in Room 1-723 (note: pay parking is in effect).
  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Prince George City Hall (1100 Patricia Boulevard).

A ballot marking machine for electors with hearing, visual, or other physical impairments will be available at the two advance voting opportunities at City Hall (October 18 and 24).

General Voting Day:

General Voting Day is October 28, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For voting-related details including identification requirements and where to vote, visit the city’s website. Results will be published on the city’s referendum webpage (www.princegeorge.ca/referendum) once polls have closed and the results have been verified.

Requesting presentations:

City officials continue to meet with community groups, service clubs, and organizations to present information about the referendum. Interested group organizers are asked to fill out an online form to request a presentation.

Additional information:

The best source of information about Referendum 2017 is the City’s website. Residents can visit www.princegeorge.ca/referendum to get the latest information and voting details, and review answers to commonly asked questions. The City’s social media assets, including Facebook and Twitter, are also regularly updated with referendum information.

  • rigormortice

    Its easy to verbally support this project, however I notice that they make no effort to support it monetarily. If Downtown Prince George would pick up some of the costs of purchasing the property, demolition, and interest on the loans they would be more credible. As it stands, they want to reap the benefits of the project while the citizens of PG get a tax increase to pay for the costs.

    The City needs to come up with some ideas to offset the cost of these proposals to taxpayers. Especially when you consider that most people will not use these facilities.

    The idea that all the City needs to do is make a plan, borrow the money, and raise taxes has to come to an end.

    The City has to be more creative, and actually get involved in the whole process, rather than dump it all on taxpayers.