Letter to the Editor: Saving Wallaceburg’s Pool Not Enough

Wallaceburg Memorial Arena – Google Street View

First of all thank-you for saving the Sydenham Pool from the Budget Cut list last evening.

My name is Chris Young I am a lifelong resident of Wallaceburg , I am currently the President of Wallaceburg Minor Hockey Association (represent 350 community youth and families) and my son Rory is a new member of the Marlins swim team. I am writing this letter to you in hopes of continuing the conversation with respect to the futures of the Wallaceburg Memorial Arena and the Sydenham Pool. These facilities have been used and continue to be used not only by the residents of Wallaceburg , but also Walpole Island, Port Lambton, Sombra, and Dresden. I fear that the cloud of closure will continue to surface if dollars are not soon invested to upgrade, update and improve these facilities.

Having used both of these facilities all of my life it is easy to see that dollars have not been spent to improve these sights – in fact it is sometimes hard to see the dollars that are spent on maintenance. For example the hand dryer in the men’s washroom at the arena has been broken for months now (sounds like a jet plane taking off), along with a heater in the stands that has had a sign on it “temporarily out of order” for at least two months – temporary implies to me that it will soon be operational again. The single broken stick rack outside of Dressing room was finally taken down after years of hanging on the wall. It is embarrassing as a resident of a community with as much Pride in itself as Wallaceburg has to see such things weekly. One only needs to travel to Bothwell, Ridgetown, and Blenheim (both pool and Arena) to see those facilities and the pride they portray to anyone visiting.

Sydenham Pool has not had an improvement since it was built. Yes maintenance dollars are spent, but it should have handicap accessible change rooms, it should have a family change room, it should have a proper viewing area, there is property available around the pool building that could be used to expand and improve the facility, brighten it up and add other amenities. We live in a community surrounded by water – there is no reason why every child in our community does not learn how to swim at the Sydenham pool.

Is it too much to ask or expect the same recreation facilities as other communities in our municipality. I would like to know what the direction is for these municipal assets, does the municipality want them improved or do we accept the status quo and watch them continue to disintegrate until there is no other choice than too close the Pool and Arena. I am willing to be part of a community task force to examine and identify areas of opportunity for these Amenities.

Respectfully,

Chris Young,
Wallaceburg, Ontario

Editor’s Note: This letter was sent to Mayor Randy Hope and councillors Sheldon Parsons, Jeff Wesley and Art Stirling.

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