Jerry Filipski has submitted his petition asking for Parksville to have its very own pool and fitness centre to Mayor Ed Mayne, the Parksville council and the Regional District of Nanaimo.
Originally, Filipski had hoped to obtain 1,000 signatures.
The final count was 2,155, and Filipski is pretty pleased with the results.
“I did a calculation the other day… we have 17-and-a-half per cent of the population that has signed that petition. Which is phenomenal for a petition,” said Filipski.
He hasn’t heard anything concrete back as of yet, but said several Parksville councillors replied in support of the idea. Filipski was initially prompted to start the petition after hearing there would be renovations to the Ravensong pool in Qualicum Beach.
He thinks the money would be better spent in Parksville.
“If we want to attract young families to the area, to work in the service industry, we need to have something like this to attract them and to service them,” said Filipski.
“And also for the health of the community. Going to the pool, swimming, doing Aqua-fit is going to go to a long way towards helping our heath-care system as well.”
Proponents of the pool had much to say about it on the change.org petition website.
“Yes!!! Leave Ravensong as is. We need another facility that is double the size of Ravensong. It is unacceptable that Parksville does not have a true Community Center with a weight room, gym and pool. I am also certain this community would greatly benefit from a youth centre.”
— Brittany Gagne
“This is much-needed for our community as a whole, particularly our youth! The more options for them to engage in healthy activities, the better!”
— Leah Quast
“Parksville has a higher and younger population than Qualicum yet they have the pool. Qualicum pool is also so busy with lessons, teams and senior classes that it is rarely open more than the leisure pool for families to use.”
— Amanda Hastings
City officials have said previously they are exploring the possibility of building a pool or recreation facility.
Staff are in the beginning stages of requesting a feasibility study, with a budget of up to $75,000 allotted.
The city projects that operational costs for a pool and recreation department would require approximately $2 million annually.