Last-ditch effort to keep St. Boniface pool open voted down by city committee

A last-ditch effort to keep a St. Boniface pool open for another year may have gone down the drain for good.

Happyland Outdoor Pool was one of three pools and 20 wading pools tapped to be replaced or decommissioned in the city’s latest four-year budget.

The pools are being shuttered in an effort to modernize the city’s aquatic facilities, as many were at the end of their lifespans. Plus, the city said the pools had low attendance and issues attracting lifeguards.

In an effort to keep Happyland open for one more swim season, community members raised $70,000, plus there was word of an additional $50,000 in funding from the province.

Still, the city’s community services committee voted down the plan Wednesday three to one, as the city’s administration told councillors capital and operating costs for the season could be as much as $190,000.

Committee chair councillor Evan Duncan also says he has never seen anything in writing when it comes to provincial funding.

“I have seen that it has been promised. I have seen that there is a fund out there, but I’ve never seen that offer come to the City of Winnipeg,” he said.

Area resident Denise Muller Bulger is sad she and her grandkids won’t have a place to go in the summer to cool down.

“Not everyone has a cottage. Not everyone has a pool. We need a place in the city that is accessible,” she said.

Meantime, Duncan called on St. Boniface residents to push the city for a recreational plan going forward.

“I think it could be a great candidate for that seeing as the infrastructure is so dated in St. Boniface.”

– With files from CTV’s Jeff Keele

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