The North Cariboo Joint Advisory Committee has decided to go back to referendum on a pool renovation project at the Quesnel Rec Centre.
A vote will take place by April 30th of 2023 at the latest.
The committee began Tuesday (Dec 14) night split on when to hold a new referendum with Quesnel City Council fully behind a vote in October of next year during the municipal elections, and three of the four northern Cariboo Regional District Directors preferring a vote in October of 2023.
John Massier, the CRD Director for Area C, played the role of peacekeeper.
“I saw that everybody in the room wanted to go to referendum to get taxpayers’ assent to borrow whatever money we decide we need, or whatever money is agreed upon to borrow for the future pool project. It seems there were two dates that were opposed that split the room, one was earlier, one was later, and I just wanted to get the room to agree that we all support the idea of the referendum, and I think the date was 6 months between the other two.”
The question that remains though, is what will the project look like.
Massier also successfully proposed that they have a strategic planning meeting to figure out the scope of the project sometime in January, although he admits there is a lot of work to do…
“I think it may take more than January’s meeting but I think we can come a long way. We need to put our heads together and come up with something. We all realize that and that’s why we agree that we need to go out and get the assent of the voters. We don’t want another failed referendum, we want to see this one be successful for whatever we decide to go back and ask the voters for.”
Massier says he feels they need to get to a decision on what the project will look like by April of 2022 at the latest.
While there is still work to do, Massier says he feels a decision to go to referendum was a step in the right direction.
“I think it was a small step forward tonight (Dec 14) because I think it was tonight’s decision to go to referendum and not to try and do it through the back door of raising the rates right now to the maximum, and trying to do it piecemeal.”
Jim Glassford, the CRD Director for Area I, was the lone vote not in favour of going back to a referendum.
He said that a referendum was a no go for him as they just had one and it was rejected.
That vote, in June of this year, was 1,001 people opposed and 941 in favour.