Aldergrove getting short shrift on pool – again

Editor: The building of a new pool in Aldergrove has had a lot of controversy over the last few decades.  I am writing to clarify the Township plans and to discuss whether they make sense.

The residents of Aldergrove have been asking for a pool large enough to accommodate the needs of Aldergrove.  The standard answer from the Township has been that it would be too expensive.

Five years ago, the Township tried to give us a pool worth around $7 million and we said that pool was inadequate.  Aldergrove residents were told the pool complex that we were asking for would cost $14 million dollars which was too expensive for Aldergrove.

Now the Township has proposed to pay $34 million for a recreation complex but, once again, with an inadequate pool.  There would be a new ice arena (the present ice arena to be demolished has some of the best ice in Canada), fitness rooms, meeting rooms and a new library space which the Fraser Valley Library stated that we need.

On the pretext of paying for our new pool we would need to sell forest lands and demolish the Aldergrove ice arena and have it replaced with a high rise of low income apartments.

The low income apartments component is not yet set in stone, but there have been no developers wanting to build expensive apartments and even back when the new Aldergrove core plan was adopted this was the talk by Township staff.

What is wrong with this picture? Aldergrove already has its share of social problems. We have no need to attract more. The plan for the pool was to give the community a more positive lifestyle for its youth and adult community.

The Township found $7 million last summer for an expansion of the Langley Events Centre without selling forest lands.

Or is the selling of the forest lands needed because the $7 million was spent on the LEC?

We get short-changed on the pool, not even enough room for the required number of parking places on the property with all of the amenities planned for the Aldergrove Elementary site.

The plan is to lease out or shut down the Kinsman Community Centre where the library is now.

We get more social problems and where is this sustainable country living that the mayor promises us with forests sold to developers?

The ice arena needs to stay where it is. If it needs a face lift that can be done for far less.  The amount of money saved by joining heating and cooling systems in one building does not justify spending the extra $20 million.

We were told five years ago that the high-end pool which includes a fitness area that we would like would cost $14 million so spend that on a pool for Aldergrove.

Without the ice arena, meeting rooms and library space that’s all that we need to spend.

Dianne Kask


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