Requisition limit increased for Grand Forks Aquatic Centre

In order to maintain service levels without reducing pool hours, RDKB Area D and Grand Forks residents are going to have to pay more.

The yearly taxes for the swimming pool in Grand Forks are $558

The yearly taxes for the swimming pool in Grand Forks are $558

In order to maintain existing service levels without reducing pool hours, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) Area D and Grand Forks residents are going to be paying more into the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre over the next five years.

Last year pool hours were cut back in order to meet the aquatic centre budget, said John MacLean, CAO of the RDKB.

“We have requisition limits in all of our services,” said MacLean. “The board of directors is able to, every five years, adjust a requisition limit by up to 25 per cent to allow for increased taxation,” which will maintain service levels and account for inflation, he said.

MacLean told the Gazette that the recreation staff and the Grand Forks Recreation Commission got together with the users of the facility to identify the area where cutbacks were made, in order to come up with a sustainable plan for the next five years.

Mayor Brian Taylor said that council’s recommendation was that it didn’t want to see any reductions in service.

Last Wednesday (March 27), the board approved an increase in the requisition limit to a maximum of 25 per cent over the next five years, above the current budget, which is $500,000.

“The folks who are paying into the aquatic service in 2013 as a group, (which is) all of Area D and all of the City of Grand Forks are going to be asked to contribute an additional … $60,000 this year,” said MacLean. “The taxes for the pool this year are $558,000.”

Mayor Brian Taylor said the maximum 25 per cent increase, which means the total operating budget would cap out at $625,000 per year is not a major increase but it does give room for the facility to move forward with increasing demand.

“It means we won’t have to add further extended closures,” said Taylor. There will still be some judicial closures when times are slow … but there wouldn’t be any additional closures to accommodate the extra costs.”

Taylor added that the aquatic centre is a shared service between the RDKB Area D and the City of Grand Forks.

John Mackey, RDKB director of recreation and facilities, was contacted for the story but did not respond in time for press.