Regina council votes to open 1 outdoor pool this summer
Regina city hall is shown in this file photo (Gareth Dillistone / CTV News Regina)
REGINA -- Regina City council voted to open its three indoor pool this summer, along with one outdoor pool, at Wednesdays meeting.
Swimming pools were up for discussion at the council meeting because City Administration decided the outdoor pools would not open this summer. It said when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it started to look at finances and found that it could save money if it kept pools closed throughout the summer. Administration did not expect to get approval for outdoor pools to open this summer.
Administration recommended the indoor pools open because maintenance and set up is more manageable.
It’s expect the North West Leisure Centre pool will open on July 6, the Lawson Aquatic Centre on July 13 and the date for the Sandra Schmirler Centre has yet to be announced.
The outdoor Regent Pool will open this summer but Administration does not expect to have it ready until July 17. The opening of the Regent pool will cost $200,000 for maintenance and staffing throughout the summer, an expense the city has not planned for.
The Mayor said the City is going ahead with getting indoor pools ready because when it gets the approval from the Provincial Government to open the pools, it wants to be prepared.
“Things have changed, time lines have changed and we will certainly be opening indoor pools into the future,” Mayor Michael Fougere said. “We know that outdoor pools are going to be open and the community has said we would like to have some outdoor pools open, it’s a short season, for mental health issues and a play for kids to play because it’s very important to do that so we decided we are going to open up Regent Pool.”
CALLS FOR POOLS TO OPEN
Before the City Council meeting began on Wednesday, a group of local competitive swimmers protested at City Hall for it open the outdoor pools this summer.
Members of the Optimist Dolphins and the University of Regina Cougars gathered to protest the decision to keep outdoor pools closed.
“It’s important for them, their mental health,” Head Coach for Optimist Dolphins and the U of R Cougars swim teams, Abderrhmane Tissira said. “They need to be together, they need to do their sport. Staying at home for four months it is really tough. And now we have the green light that we can get back to the water under the safety guidelines.”
The groups said they need to get back in the water to train effectively.
“Yeah that’s been really tough,” Aden Dickinson of the U of R swim team said. “Completely messed up my entire schedule, I’m a bit lost. We have still been doing some training outside of the pool. Weightlifting, biking, running. But to not swim is just a complete change of my entire lifestyle.”
FENCING SETBACK REGULATIONS
Councillor Jerry Flegel introduced a motion about fences in Regina, and how many residents’ fences are breaking the bylaw.
This fence issue is a concern for residents whose fences are on city property either in front of their homes or at the side of their homes. Flegel does not agree with having residents move their fences and said if the City starts requiring residents to move their fences off city property, then the City would then have to maintain that property that the residents are currently maintaining for free.
Administration said resident should move their fences for safety because some may block the sight for motorists and pedestrians. Administration said this bylaw is also in place for the City to have access to utilities.
Administration discussed notifying the residents whose fences do not comply with the bylaw, to have the City send the residents a notice that their fence may need to be removed because of a future project. The vote was carried 10 to 1 and Administration will need to have a report conducted by the end of September.
Council did not discuss all of its agenda items on Wednesday. The date for the next meeting has not been set.
At the next meeting, council will discuss the redevelopment of the Globe Theatre and the bylaw for taxis and ride sharing vehicles in the city.