A new pool for Maillardville?
The recent closure of an aging outdoor pool in Maillardville stirred up some emotions at Coquitlam city hall this week, with two city councillors pressing for it to be rebuilt.
The decommissioning of Rochester Pool remains a sore point with Coun. Mae Reid, who wants another pool, especially for teens, in the neighbourhood, and Coun. Bonita Zarrillo, who is backing Reid in the fight to reopen the 44-year-old pool.
Reid said she didn't agree with the findings of a 2012 study for the city that showed outdoor pools are not well used. Eagle Ridge Pool at Guildford Way and Lansdowne Drive has good attendance, she said, and Maillardville residents are being left out of swim opportunities close by.
But Coun. Terry O'Neill took Reid to task for voting in favour of an aquatic program that, among other things, resulted in Rochester's plug being pulled.
"There are lots of reports where we, as a council, change our decisions the next year," a distraught Reid retorted.
O'Neill also challenged Raul Allueva, Coquitlam's acting general manager of parks and recreation, about whether a policy could be reversed. In the case of an outdoor pool for Rochester Park, city staff "would look at opportunities" as growth happens, he said.
Coun. Lou Sekora, who previously advocated for Rochester Pool to be demolished given its high operating costs, told Monday's council-in-committee he's softening to the idea of having a new outdoor pool for the area residents.
"Maillardville is changing," he said.
The pool comments came up as Allueva laid out plans to start a $120,000 design process for the 10-acre Rochester Park, of which the western 2.5 acres are developed. Staff want to tie the process this year with the restoration of Como Creek in the park. Councillors say they would like to see more of a trail network built into Rochester Park.
Allueva said the city is pressing School District 43 to take a "leadership" position as it shares a grass playing field at Maillard middle school, and use of that field by the public isn't possible while the school is in session.