EDITORIAL: City should keep indoor pool open

There are times when decisions at City Hall just simply defy logic.

Here we are gripped in an air-quality alert and temperatures that are skirting records and the main swimming pool in the city is about to be shut down for maintenance.

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The outdoor pools are closed right now due to the smoke-filled air so one would think it might be a smart move — a resident-friendly move — to at least keep the eight-lane 50-metre pool, leisure pool for younger swimmers, three diving towers and two hot tubs open for those who might want to get some exercise in a cool environment.

Last year, the city opted to forgo the August closing and move it to the end of December. The reason? Poor air quality and a desire to give residents and the evacuees from fires in the area a place to escape the smoky air. The city’s sports development business operations manager even acknowledged last year that a lot of people wanted to get indoors and away from the smoke. He added pool traffic was 15 to 20 per cent busier than normal.

The air is bad now. The air quality health index has it between moderate and high risk to people, in particular young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors. It’s predicted to get worse as we near the weekend. Environment Canada has issued heat warnings into the weekend, something it does when the humidex value is expected to reach 40 C or more.

But let’s take the weather out of the equation. Where is the logic in shutting down for two weeks one of the major facilities for people in the city to use during a season when many are on vacation and may not be leaving the city?

When kids are out of school and perhaps looking for a place to cool off and have some fun rather than sitting in their bedrooms playing Minecraft?

Finding a different time do the annual maintenance would be a kid-friendly, a tax-payer friendly and, ultimately, a Kamloops-friendly decision.

After all, there are about 49 other weather weeks from which to choose.

© Kamloops This Week


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