I agree with both recent Vic News letter writers when they say that Victoria council has to look closely at how much Victoria taxpayers are struggling with high costs and how difficult it will be to cope with the possibility of a nine per cent tax increase.
But the signs are not good that council is seeing that because right out of the starting gate they want to take on a mega project that we, the taxpayers, will be paying off for a very long time. A proposed new Crystal Pool is estimated to cost about $100 million and although some cash might come from senior levels of government, Victoria taxpayers will be paying the lion’s share. This is in addition to us continuing to pay off the Blue Bridge and the sewage treatment facility. Because the cost to Victoria taxpayers is expected to be over $50 million, there has to be a referendum. The cost of the last referendum in 2010 was $600,000 so expect this one to be a lot more.
If this project was really necessary and the Victoria taxpayers were wealthy, the burden might be bearable. But they are not wealthy and the existing pool is solid, clean, accessible to those with disabilities and well used. With my annual pass, I would be using the pool today if it wasn’t shut down because the City Parks and Rec decided not to stock a valve for the filtration system.
My hope is that council sees that we can’t afford this mega vanity project of a new pool and starts to support the existing pool with a refurbishment that takes into account the community’s wishes. Hint: solar panels on the roof would reduce cost and improve the carbon footprint greatly.