Maybe they should just put it on wheels and roll it around town until somebody finds a home for it. The City of Victoria’s plan to replace the aging Crystal Pool was supposed to be a model for procurement. It would meet none of the delays and cost overruns that were so fresh in taxpayers’ minds after the Johnson Street Bridge fiasco. The city had a design (cost: $2 million) and a location and hopes of significant funding from senior governments. What could go wrong?
“Fiasco” looks more and more appropriate, as councillors can’t seem to find anywhere to build the pool, and they have missed out on some of that government funding. The original plan to put it beside the current pool was nixed after community objections, negotiations for the Save-on-Foods lot went nowhere and the Royal Athletic Park parking lot was seen as more suitable to affordable housing.
Today, councillors will debate a motion by Coun. Marianne Alto that would rule out using any location that would take away green space.
The motion appears to mean that the latest potential site — a playing field at Central Middle School — would be off the table. And it means the pool is looking more like the Flying Dutchman, doomed to sail the seas without ever reaching port.
There is no such thing as a perfect location for the new pool. Some residents will object to a particular spot, some considerations will have to take priority over others. But adding more hoops to jump through will just mean that pool users have to wait even longer.