Victory lap for pool

Port Hardy's proposed mutliplex has now officially become a reality thanks to vote.

A new pool for Port Hardy received a wave of support Saturday.

The results are unofficial until noon today (Oct. 26) in case of any objections to the count or process. However, unofficial numbers are that 501 residents cast their ballots in the referendum (assent vote) – with 77.25 per cent voting in favour of giving the District of Port Hardy the green light to borrow up to $6 million to build a new multiplex.

A total of 387 voted in favour, 114 against.

“I thought the vote was fantastic. It’s an affirmation of all the work that we’ve been doing to put the pool in place,” said Mayor Hank Bood. “As we go further down the line and look for our grant funding, the fact that the assent vote was almost 80 per cent will help us in that,” Bood said.

“You never know when you’re doing this sort of thing if your pubic is totally behind a project and now we know and that is a real good thing,” he said. “I’m never sure whether the vote is going to go one way or another. To be honest, I’m always nervous going into a vote and I think an important thing is we have a little momentum going in the community right now and by investing in our recreational infrastructure, we’re ensuing that Port Hardy remains a great place to live and raise a family.”

“The next step in the process will be a detailed structural review of the existing pool, said Chief Administrative Officer Allison McCarrick.

“The Stantec report gave us a general review, but we now need to have a more detailed review to see what the structure can hold and what modifications will be required to have it compliant with the current building code,” McCarrick said.”The existing pool building will also be having a hazmat assessment completed. This will test for asbestos, lead and mould,” she said.

This assessment is necessary in case any portion of the existing pool is demolished or changed. “We need to know what the contractors will be dealing with and not have any big surprises when it comes to moving forward,” she said.

This step-by-step process of awareness and knowledge will ensure council can make the best decisions based on qualified information.

“We will be applying for a provincial/federal grant when one for recreational purposes becomes available,” said McCarrick and “continue our fund-raising efforts.”

Once the grant funding has been secured we will move the project forward.”The estimated cost of the new multiplex is $12 million.