Pool foe running for council

A Hart-area resident is running for council - and against the plan to build a new Four Seasons Pool.

If elected, Paul Serup hopes to convince fellow council members to nix the project, even though voters authorized the city to borrow $35 million to replace the aging downtown pool in a referendum held in October 2017.

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"Council can be changed and it then can be (nixed)," Serup maintained in an interview Friday.

Rather than tear down the old Days Inn to make way for the pool, Serup said it could be used as affordable housing. The city purchased the hotel for $4.5 million and the cost of demolishing it and the old pool has been estimated at $2.5 million, both over and above the cost of building the new pool.

Serup's father, Svend, was behind a petition calling for a pool to be built in the Hart instead. It drew 1,660 names but council took no action on it when it was received.

Asked if he would like to see the Hart be home to a new pool should he win council's support for scrapping construction of a new pool downtown, Serup said putting one next to the YMCA of Northern B.C. and having the Y manage the facility is worth investigating.

At the time the idea was first raised, Y CEO Amanda Alexander said handing over operations to her organization would save the city millions of dollars.

However, according to city manager Kathleen Soltis, the pool would have been part of a larger project that would have included a new YMCA building and "would have cost far more than the new pool proposed in the referendum."

Serup said he would also seek ways to reduce bureaucracy and streamline approval processes.

"Unless it's necessary, government should get out of the way of people and let them pursue their dreams, their legitimate entrepreneurial dreams," he said.

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