APRIL FOOL! There’s no place like Dome – Rossland takes back the right to swim
Rosslanders will soon regain the right to swim–affordably and year round–right here in the Golden City. The recent rejection of Rossland’s latest attempt to restart negotiations around a new recreation cost sharing agreement by the City of Trail seems to have prompted a drastic rethink on the part of council. As reported last week in the Telegraph, Mayor Granstrom and council were shocked that Trail council would not engage them in new discussions on the long stalled issue.
“We’re absolutely dumbfounded,” commented Granstrom. “We didn’t even get the opportunity to sit face to face. We just got back a straight ‘no’.”
While remaining stoic during his interview with the Telegraph last week, Granstrom (who suggested a road forward might include Rossland adding more recreation programs of their own) was apparently pushed too far.
Last night the Telegraph received a note from the mayor, who had called a special meeting of council for Monday evening. Granstrom had one item on the circulated agenda that read, “The future is wet.”
Granstrom, in a patriotic monologue clocking in at just under 45 minutes, presented a radical new plan. “You know the way we were acting, really it was like…I mean, two babies in a tub is cute, but when you look across the tub and you see other middle aged councillors the scene isn’t as cute anymore, if you know what I’m saying. As Canadians, we are better than this!”
The plan is both basic and bold. After a unanimous vote, Rossland is giving up on a recreation deal with Trail and going it alone. The jewel in the crown of the proposed recreational emancipation is a new year-round pool in Rossland. The proposal suggests using the $400,000 awarded for the arena roof project, the $260,0000 in recreation reserves as well as the $1.2 milllion in financing approved through the AAP. The projected $1.86 million project suggests an innovative return to the past and doing it with elbow grease and volunteerism.
Starting this spring, the north end of Starr Gulch reservoir will be transformed into a year round swimming facility. Utilizing arched wooden beams stretching horizontally across the reservoir and with a dome-shaped roof made from recycled metal roofing, the facility will be among the largest structures in BC. The horizontal span of the beams will reach 217 meters and run 200 meters along the reservoir. The new facility has been dubbed a Natural Floor Lake Pool.
Inspired by having seen Tyler Bradley’s movie, “Greening the Cube”, Granstrom suggested the pool could be built by local people using all waste and recycled materials. “Old railroad ties-they’re everywhere. And old metal roofing–haven’t we already got enough back country ski huts? Let’s put that roofing to a use that will benefit all Rosslanders. I’ve got some in my back yard right now.”
Some local residents reacted with dismay, citing concerns about pollution of the town’s water supply. A local expert was quick to brush these off. “Needless to say, we’ll have to be careful of those residents who wear diapers. Clearly, residents both under and over a certain age will have to be restricted from using the new facility. Other than that, we Rosslanders are a clean bunch. We’ll have to chlorinate the water–that goes without saying–but a switch to chlorinated drinking water will be a good move forward for the town.”
Looking to the future, Granstrom is a man with visions dancing in his head. “This is only the beginning for Rossland,” added an anonomous council attendee. “Now that we’re going to be free of Trail in terms of recreation, there’s no stopping us. What else do we get from Trail? Extreme fighting matches? We’ll have full-contact cross country racing at Black Jack. What else do they have to offer that we don’t? We need to build a firewall around this town. There’s no logical reason to have a highway going down that hill-it’s dangerous in the winter and encourages logging truck to drive through town year round. I’m going to propose to the Ministry of Highways that we tear it up. Until the 1960s there was no highway to Nancy Greene Lake. People coming to Rossland just had to go the long way round through Castlegar. Let’s return to those days. If people really want to go to Trail, they won’t mind the drive, I’m sure.”
Following the consensus vote on the motion, the city introduced a second somewhat radical bill to assist in paying for the new structure. The bylaw would see Rossland residential tax rates rising by $750 per $100,000 in assessed value. Citing Rossland’s renowned volunteerism and desire to lower taxes, the city added an opt out option whereby residents can work off the extra tax increase by volunteering hours on city work crews. The City will be compiling a list of projects in which residents can sign up to reduce their tax burden. At this stage only one project has been approved for the program.
“We’ll be setting up several options for residents to choose from. This summer we will be adding volunteer man hours to our road crews. If you’ve got a shovel you can help fill pot-holes,” said Rossland CAO Victor Kumar.
The second bylaw was also passed unanimously. Quite literally, Rossland residents will be digging themselves out of a deep infrastructure debt.