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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District will be gathering resident feedback on a future pool replacement over the spring and summer.

In a board meeting on Thursday, the PRRD approved the engagement strategy put forth by the North Peace Leisure Pool Replacement Steering Committee, which includes phone surveys, an online survey, mail-outs, open houses and online information.

The years-long issue re-emerged recently on social media after one resident posted their concerns on a community Facebook group, which received over 270 comments.

“The hot tub closure. How long has it been broken? One lifeguard mentioned that the hot tub is broken, and the part that needs to be fixed is a pipe that’s underneath the lap pool. So they have to wait until they can dig out the lap pool to fix it,” the post read.

In a serendipitous twist, the steering committee’s first meeting was already scheduled to meet a few days after the post gained traction. The high engagement on the post led Fort St. John council to speak about the pool during their April 11th meeting.

“I think that it’s time council hosted a town hall on who owns that pool, who operates the pool, why it’s in the condition it’s in, and talk about moving forward,” Mayor Lori Ackerman stated.

The pool, owned by the PRRD, opened in 1996 and celebrated its 25th anniversary in Oct0ber 2021. It’s frequently closed due to maintenance issues.

“The people who not only live in Fort St. John but also outside Fort St. John need to understand it’s the one oddity in all of our recreational facilities,” said Ackerman. 

“I think it’s an opportunity to get together. Usually, the trade show is the social event of the season. We can make this one the social event of the season. Have people come and get those facts so that as they move forward replacing this facility, they’ve got that information.”

Community engagement for the pool replacement is expected to begin soon, running from spring through the summer until June 30th, 2022.

A report will then be brought back to the committee for review.

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Spencer HallInvestigative Reporter

Spencer Hall is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Radio Arts & Entertainment program. Growing up in Northwest B.C. made Spencer aware of the importance of local journalism, independent media, and reconciliation. In his spare time, you can find Spencer reading, playing video games, or at the FSJ dog park with his dog, Teddy.