Richmond council to vote on extending Steveston pool hours

The city will vote this week on extending the hours at Steveston Pool, in response to a petition submitted to council in November.

Council will vote on three options, outlined in a city report, at Tuesday’s parks, recreation and cultural services committee meeting. The options include maintaining 2019’s hours, modestly increasing hours, or fully increasing hours to meet the petitioners’ request.

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The petition, signed by 109 patrons, asked that the pool be open to the public seven days a week from the beginning of May until the end of September starting this year.

Public swims, according to the petitioners, should run from noon to 7 p.m. during the week, and from 10 a.m. to noon on weekends. They also asked that length swimming hours be protected.

Currently, the pool opens for public swimming on Victoria Day – the second-to-last Monday in May – and remains open until late September. Public hours vary month-to-month, with more public swimming hours in July and August, while the Kigoos swim club has its own schedule.

Under the first option in the city report, the pool would maintain its 2019 hours, which already had 88 hours of additional lane swimming from Victoria Day weekend through mid-September.

This option would cost $13,500, which could increase the pool’s current operating subsidy of $74,900 by up to 18 per cent, depending on attendance. The report notes that this option has the “most reasonable” financial impact, and the operating hours are in line with other outdoor pools in Metro Vancouver.

The second option outlines a modest, temporary increase of the pool’s hours. According to the report, the pool would offer a total increase of 136 hours to length and public swims – a 26 per cent increase from 2019’s hours.

This option would cost approximately $45,000, increasing the operating subsidy by up to 60 per cent depending on attendance.  

The third option is the most closely aligned with the petitioners’ requested hours. Without impacting the Kigoos or other users, the pool would have 308.5 additional operating hours, or a 59 per cent increase from 2019.

This would cost around $95,000, depending on attendance, increasing the operating subsidy by up to 127 per cent.

Neither the second or third options are recommended by city staff, according to the report.

The pool, at 4151 Moncton St. next to the Steveston Community Centre, is a 25-metre, six-lane rectangular heated outdoor pool, home to Richmond’s Summer Swim Club, the Kigoos.

The facility also has an outdoor slide and shallow children’s pool.

It was constructed in 1972, and underwent extensive repairs, costing $450,000, in 2016, in order to extend the pool’s lifespan by around 10 years.   

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