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LETTER: Low or no free swim time a disservice to taxpaying seniors

"Last time I checked it was called Fountain Park Swimming Pool and my taxes are paying for its upkeep along with those of other seniors who like to swim."
letter-sta

This summer has been the most frustrating ever for swimmers in St Albert. The Servus Place Pool has been closed all summer for regular maintenance. Do city managers not understand that kids who are not in school over the summer like to swim?

The result was hundreds of residents being refused entrance to Fountain Park Pool and the introduction of forced registrations for public swim.

To top off the carnage on this crap sandwich, seniors who have always been able to use the deep pool for swimming during senior aquasize classes were denied this right and the whole leisure pool was given over to these classes, no doubt because of increased demand due to the closing of Servus Place Pool. Unfortunately, many seniors forced to participate in the classes were seniors who prefer to free swim, whose time for this activity was cut from two hours to nothing.

Several of us seniors who prefer to free swim tried to find someone to respond to our concerns. I called the mayor’s office, but was not allowed to speak to her. The city manager I called did not return my calls and I was unable to contact the manager of Fountain Park, who works from home and has no set time to be at the pool. The operational manager also did not return calls — you get the picture.

St Albert is no longer a city that is responsive to its citizens. I guess that should have been obvious to all when the mayor and council voted to pay for a satellite library citizens voted against instead of increasing the amount of aquatic space that is desperately needed.

Now, in response to our concerns that there is no time for seniors to free swim, the city has increased the amount of daily senior aquasize to four hours per day, using the whole leisure pool — deep end as well as shallow end — and totally eliminated any free swim time dedicated to seniors.

This makes no sense. Many of us count on daily swim time for health as well as fitness. Seniors who like to swim are not welcome there. When this irony was presented to staff, they responded that Fountain Park Leisure Pool is for lessons only.

Last time I checked it was called Fountain Park Swimming Pool and my taxes are paying for its upkeep along with those of other seniors who like to swim. Time to correct this injustice. There is an easy solution. As was the case for the last 15 years, dedicate the shallow end of the pool for the classes and allow seniors who swim to use of the deep pool. That way everyone can use the pool and its use is available for all seniors.

Niki Wosnack, St. Albert