A core review recommendation to close Beban Pool for three months each year has drawn opposition

A core review recommendation to close Beban Pool for three months each year has drawn opposition

Public petitions for pool access

Two petitions have started about a core services review recommendation to close Beban Park's pool for three months each year.

A potential cost-saving measure that would temporarily shut down Beban Pool is getting a cool reception from hundreds of people who have petitioned against the idea.

Two grassroots petitions have been launched in response to a recommendation in the city’s core review that suggests the city consider a three-month pool shutdown to save approximately $280,000 a year.

Beban Pool is already shut down for a month each year for maintenance.

But not all residents are interested in using the alternative – the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre.

Peggy Brownie, who launched a formal petition against the potential pool closure in June, said Beban Pool has a shallow end where you can stand. A lot of seniors can’t keep doing length after length and have to stand, get their breath or adjust their goggles. NAC is a deep-water pool, she said, adding to stop you grab onto the side and when you’re a senior you don’t have the flexibility to hang off a bulkhead. She also said the water is cooler at the aquatic centre and she doesn’t believe the other facility would be as accessible for those who live in the Beban area.

So far, she said her petition has more than 400 signatures.

An online petition has also been created at http://you.leadnow.ca called Stop the Closure of Beban Pool, Nanaimo. It had 616 signatures as of press time Wednesday.

“To cut off this and it’s such a benefit for all the citizens who use the pool and gym, it’s atrocious. It’s just terrible,” said Brownie, who believes other ways can be found to save money. “As far as I am concerned, a pool is a facility for the taxpayers. It shouldn’t be a money-making proposition. It’s like a library.”

Geraldine Prouten started the online petition, which she plans to present to council.

Beban provides a service to people in the community to help them keep physically fit and it builds community spirit, she said. She doesn’t think it’s reasonable to ask users of Beban Park to go to NAC for three months and said what she envisions happening is that people wouldn’t go and consequently it would affect their physical states. Her husband cannot walk and uses the pool three times a week where a lift is used to place him in and take him out of the water. He found the water temperatures too low at NAC, and that the dressing rooms are not as adequate for people with disabilities, said Prouten. She said when Beban closes for a month in the summer, her husband waits for it to open and has no way to maintain his physical status during that time.

“I just think that what the city council needs to do is listen to what the people who are using Beban Pool have to say about the loss of it to their lives,” she said. “To me it doesn’t make any sense to be closing a pool that is vital to public safety, it’s vital to public health, it’s a centre for the community and it’s the closest one for instance to the middle of the city and north Nanaimo. Why would they want to send everybody to one pool that’s a long way away?”

George Reid, a Lantzville resident who shares concerns about the aquatic centre’s cold water and lack of places to stand for those swimming lengths, wants more rationale in terms of the quantification of the reasons for closing it and said “they don’t have it.” He also said he’s looked into the number of people coming to the city and there’s going to be an increase over the coming years, so he questions closing a facility and providing less service instead of more service.

Mayor Bill McKay said the recommendation to close the pool is based on accountants looking at the cost of the operation, a single dimension, and it’s the decision of councillors on whether or not they follow it. While he doesn’t consider the online petition valid with respect to the Community Charter, he is prepared to take e-mails and talk directly about Beban Pool and does want to know more about concerns.

McKay said as part of early discussion concerning Beban, it was suggested that perhaps the city is not decreasing the level of service by closing the pool for three months. If lifeguards are relocated to local swimming holes, like Westwood Lake or Departure Bay, for example, the city can still offer other types of swimming service, he said.

“You are just not offering it in the same fashion.”

A proposed implementation strategy for core service review recommendations is expected this month.


Just Posted

Woodgrove Centre has a temporary COVID-19 vaccination clinic operated by Island Health. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 vaccine clinic set up at Woodgrove Centre

Anyone 12 and up can receive a first dose of mRNA vaccine seven days a week

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
Central Island’s United Way merging with other chapters to create United Way B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Young people graduating in COVID-19 times have shown resilience. (Stock photo)
Editorial: Class of 2021 has shown smarts and resilience

Congratulations and good luck to Grade 12s who have persevered during the pandemic

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

Most Read