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Neighbourhood group slams city for lack of transparency in recommending closure of Thames Pool

Thames Pool in London, Ont. is seen in this undated image. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London) Thames Pool in London, Ont. is seen in this undated image. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)
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The Old South Community Organization (OSCO) is expressing concern about city staff’s failure to consult with stakeholders before recommending that Thames Pool be decommissioned.

“The lack of process and opportunity to voice concerns or examine viable remedial options on this proposal is disheartening,” reads a news release by OSCO. “As a result, many people are now expressing a lack of confidence in the city’s ability to operate in a fully transparent and consultative manner.”

A report to council’s Community and Protective Services Committee on March 14 describes serious structural damage that will prevent the pool from opening this summer, and city staff recommend its permanent decommissioning and replacement with a spray pad.

Five options for the future of Thames Pool were considered:

  • Conducting minimum repairs ($375,000)
  • Extensive repairs ($600,000)
  • Rehabilitation ($4 million)
  • Rebuild ($12 million)
  • Decommission

The future of the pool is up to city council, but the neighbourhood group said a key piece of information is missing.

“Voting on a report which omits the cost of the recommended option is not appropriate in any capacity,” the release said.

The pool underwent redevelopment from 2009 to 2010.

“We question whether poor design, engineering, and/or construction contributed to the need for greater repairs after the reconstruction of the facility in 2010,” reads the news release.

OSCO wants council to take three steps:

  • Enact the report’s first option facilitating minimum repairs
  • Seek all available financial options at municipal, provincial, and federal levels
  • An examination of the 2010 reconstruction (engineering plans, construction details, initial and final reports) by an independent impartial consulting engineer and subject matter expert

Since 1975, the OSCO has been a member-run volunteer organization dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of life in the Old South neighbourhood and the city.

The Community and Protective Services Committee will consider the staff report at a meeting on March 21 at 4:15 p.m. in council chambers. 

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