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Summerland votes against borrowing $50 million for new aquatics and fitness centre

Majority votes no to pool

UPDATE: 10:08 p.m.

The results of the 2023 Summerland Recreation Centre Referendum are in and the majority of voters decided against the district borrowing money.

Unofficial results from ballots cast were released Saturday evening by Chief Election Officer Kendra Kinsley.

The 2023 Summerland Recreation Centre Referendum votes are as follows in response to referendum question: "Do you support the Corporation of the District of Summerland borrowing up to $50 million with interest, over a period not exceeding 30 years in order to finance the construction of a new recreation centre to be located at 8820 Jubilee Road E., by way of Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 2023-016?"

  • YES - 1943
  • NO - 2682

A total of 4625 votes were cast.

The district said the unofficial results are based on the ballot accounts prepared from each voting opportunity and are subject to the determination of official referendum results by the Chief Election Officer.

These results will be confirmed no later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

"The District of Summerland thanks everyone for participating in the referendum."


UPDATE: 1:20 p.m.

The Summerland Arena Banquet Room has seen a steady stream of voters coming through since opening on Saturday at 8 a.m. for general voting.

As of roughly 1 p.m., Chief Election Officer Kendra Kinsley said over 1000 people have cast their ballots today in support or against the district borrowing up to $50 million to develop the Summerland Recreation Centre.

That is on top of the total ballots cast to date at the advance polls, which were 2,364.

The yes-or-no question being asked is: "Do you support the Corporation of the District of Summerland borrowing up to $50 million with interest, over a period not exceeding 30 years in order to finance the construction of a new recreation centre to be located at 8820 Jubilee Road E., by way of Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 2023-016?"

The estimation is that the results will be known tonight around 9:15 p.m. and Castanet will update this story.


ORIGINAL: 4 a.m.

It's general voting day for Summerland.

Saturday ballots will decide the fate of whether the community will be spending the hefty price tag on a new aquatics and fitness centre.

Eligible voters will decide whether they approve the district borrowing up to $50 million to develop the Summerland Recreation Centre.

The yes-or-no question being asked is: "Do you support the Corporation of the District of Summerland borrowing up to $50 million with interest, over a period not exceeding 30 years in order to finance the construction of a new recreation centre to be located at 8820 Jubilee Road E., by way of Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 2023-016?"

So far, two days of advance voting have shown a steady number of participants in the referendum.

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 933 voters cast their ballots, bringing the total ballots cast to date to 2,364. That equates to 66 per cent of the number of ballots cast in the last municipal election.

Summerland’s mayor and councillors will not be voting unanimously in the pool referendum, with some expressing their positive opinions in borrowing the money to grow community amenities while other balked at the price tag.

The state of the current Summerland Aquatic & Fitness Centre has been an ongoing topic, as the aging aquatic building approaches the end of its usable lifespan.

The district said all major building mechanical, electrical and pool systems of the current facility have exceeded their expected usable life. Most of the building envelope is in poor condition with significant air and water leakage and the potential for mold.

"The facility is consuming 86 per cent more energy per unit of floor area than the average swimming pool, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to source facility replacement parts due to antiquated electrical, plumbing and pool systems."

A public engagement process in late 2021 conducted by the district revealed strong public support for constructing a brand new centre, rather than investing in upgrading the existing one.

The proposed facility includes an aquatic centre; fitness centre; two multi-purpose rooms; universal access and family change rooms; and modern energy efficiency building standards.

General voting day is Saturday, Nov. 4, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. at the Summerland Arena Banquet Room.

For information including eligibility for voting, a list of acceptable identification to vote, and more on the Summerland Recreation Centre project, click here.



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