The headlines on the front page of The Morning Star for Dec. 16 and Dec. 18 about possible replacement of the Recreation Complex, are certain to give Greater Vernon taxpayers the willies. The fact that the complex has fallen into such disrepair can only be ascribed to mismanagement at the top levels. This is the culmination of years of cuts in taxes in an attempt to continue with short-term political gain, meanwhile the infrastructure crumbles.
When funds were first decreased at the Rec Complex in the early 1990’s, the full time mechanical maintenance person was not replaced upon his retirement. At this point, on-going preventive maintenance ceased. Repairs were only done when something actually broke. Non-mechanical staff were left to operate complicated and very specialized systems such as the dehumidification of the pool. This system also scavenged some of that heat to heat the pool water.
As budgets continued to tighten, some services at the complex were privatized. As with any private company, profit has to be the endgame and in such a situation profit is only maximized through minimum staff or minimum maintenance. We can only guess that both minimums were met.
As for the heating pipes being originally installed incorrectly. Come on gents. Those pipes were installed to the standard of the time, 45 years ago. The anti-corrosion technology in boiler systems has changed greatly in those 45 years. Nowadays, the boiler water is tested several times a year and chemicals are added to try to defeat the internal corrosion that is inherent in such systems. Ongoing replacement of old pipes is the name of the game, be it in a building or under our streets.
Yes, this costs money but as any person can see if you don’t pay for it this year, it will only cost you more next year because of increased degradation and of course inflation.
So when a politician says “I will not raise your taxes,” you better start saving your money for future years because at some point there will have to be a big fix.
That point has come at the Rec Centre, apparently.
Maintenance Technician, Retired