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Cariboo Regional District OKs referendum on borrowing $20M for Quesnel pool upgrade

At the April 16 Cariboo Regional District board meeting, directors endorsed the referendum question regarding a proposed upgrade to the pool facilities at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre. The referendum, planned for June 19, 2021 will ask eligible voters if they support borrowing up to $20 million to move forward with the project potentially as early as the spring of 2022.

The project was brought forward by the North Cariboo Joint Advisory Committee, consisting of representatives from City of Quesnel Council and CRD directors from the North Cariboo (Areas A, B, C, and I). The proposed upgrades include a larger leisure pool, featuring a lazy river, tots’ play area, and a gradual entry, as well as a new hot tub and saunas. Other planned improvements include a new raised viewing area, and improvements to change areas to better meet the needs of families and people with disabilities. Mechanical and HVAC equipment upgrades are also part of the project.

“The time has come for us to address the pool as the next high-priority project in the North Cariboo,” said Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson, in a news release. “We require modern recreation amenities to attract and retain residents and to improve the quality of life for the people who call Quesnel home. Investing in our recreation infrastructure is essential to the long-term sustainability of our community.”

“Areas with strong infrastructure and new facilities have a proven advantage in attracting new investment, potential workers, and those with a variety of residency options,” said Cariboo Regional District Director Mary Sjostrom (Area A – Red Bluff/Quesnel South). “Upgrades such as this project are crucial in attracting long-term in-migration, particularly families. Approval of the referendum question will allow the project to proceed without delay.”

The estimated capital cost for the project is $20 million, which includes design and construction. The Centre’s estimated net operating costs would increase by approximately $200,000 per year, due to the additional staffing, maintenance, and utility costs for the larger facility. Ongoing operational costs will be included in the centre’s budget.

Complete details regarding the scope of the project can be found online at:

For information on the referendum and voting eligibility please visit:

Virtual townhall meetings regarding the proposed project and referendum will be held in the coming weeks. Details will be publicized when finalized. Information about the project will be posted to the Arts and Recreation Centre Facebook page which can be found at:

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