Financial Summary

NSMastersNumerous options exist to cover the additional cost of construction without requiring the City to absorb the cost.  It is predicted that the operating subsidy for a 50m pool at Harry Jerome will be the same as the current operating subsidy for the 25m pool.  This will not affect the Rec Commission’s operating budget, or negatively impact taxpayers.

Construction

Construction of a 25m pool is estimated to be $18.4 million, while a 50m pool is estimated to be $28.4 million (October 2011 report to Council).  This differential of $10 million is a mere 35% increase in cost to get the equivalent of two 25m pools or three separate pool areas, depending on the need.  For example, revenue generating activities such as lane swimming, aquafit/aquacize, and family swim can be run simultaneously in a 50m pool, but not in a 25m pool.

The population growth in the City of North Vancouver has accelerated in the past few years, exceeding predictions in the Official Community Plan.  Based on the 2011 census, the population has increased more than 7% – triple the increase in the District of North Vancouver.  If this continues, then the City will need a second 25m pool to meet the needs of its growing population within the next 10 years.   The City will face increased costs to build a second 25m pool – possibly as much as $25 million in 10 years.  Thus, the total price tag for two 25m pools could potentially be upwards of $43 million, instead of $28.4 million, if a 50m pool is built now for the future.

There are a number of ways to cover this cost differential without the City paying the entire additional amount.

  • Land sales
  • Land lease (the preferred option being pursued by the NV School Board for underutilized school properties – 99 year leases)
  • Corporate sponsorship
  • Naming rights
  • Federal and Provincial governments
  • Fundraising

Operating Subsidy

Information available for modern Metro Vancouver 50m pools indicates that the operating subsidy is currently in the range of $780,000 – $1,120,000 (Attachment #3 of the October 2011 report to Council).  In a study of fifty-two 50m pools across Canada, Asbell Management Innovations Inc. (2007) noted that 50m pools operate for roughly $350,000 to $500,000 per year.  This suggests that the estimate of $1.5million to operate a 50m pool at Harry Jerome is grossly inflated.

Attachment #3 includes information for 50m pools in Coquitlam, Surrey, New Westminster, Kelowna and Nanaimo.  However, the only 50m pool that is comparable to the proposed 50m pool at Harry Jerome is the City Centre Aquatic Complex (CCAC) in Coquitlam.  CCAC includes the features proposed for Harry Jerome (except the 5m and 7m dive towers) and is conveniently located within Coquitlam (close proximity to traffic corridors and bus routes).  Harry Jerome is centrally located near a major highway and transportation corridor, a mere 15 minutes drive from any subdivision in North Vancouver.  It is also in one of the fastest population growth areas in the City of North Vancouver.  The other four facilities in Attachment #3 do not have these features.  Thus, the only fair comparison is with the CCAC 50m pool in Coquitlam.

Based on the 2007 Asbell Management Innovations Inc. report and the close resemblance to the physical features of CCAC, it is felt that a new 50m pool at the Harry Jerome site should operate like CCAC and with a comparable operating subsidy.   The operating subsidy for Harry Jerome in 2010 was $770,000 or virtually the same as the CCAC, a 50m pool, which had an operating subsidy in 2010 of $780,000.

If, however, the operating subsidy should exceed the current budget, then the City has a number of options to deal with this and ensure no impact on the North Vancouver Recreation Commission’s annual operating budget.

  • Solar panels and geothermal from Lonsdale Energy Corp.
  • Parking revenues and more flexible Admission price packages
  • Increased programs = increased revenues
  • Increased public usage = increased revenues
  • On-site commercial and new residential property tax revenues (e.g. $600,000 based on ~$1500 taxes/unit for 5 each of 5-storey and 3-storey condominiums)
  • Event hosting (pool rentals generate > $100 thousand)
  • Health Club fees of on-site condominiums could include an additional fee for access to recreation centre (as is currently done for the Atrium condominiums to allow access to Pinnacle pool).