The fate of the taxpayer is also at risk with news the replacement cost of the Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre may be as high as $68.4-million (Times Colonist, Fix it up or replace it? Crystal Pool fate at stake, Nov. 27, 2016).

The orgy of major and costly infrastructure upgrades and replacements in the City is continuing unabated: the Blue Bridge ($105-million and counting), the regional sewer system ($765-million and counting), a stand alone Fire Station No. 1 (as much as $30-million), and so on. Point Ellice Bridge is also in need of substantial rehabilitation, estimated at as much as $15-million in 2013.

The troubling nature of all these infrastructure bills is that the size of them – local taxpayers pick up the entire cost of overruns in the case of the bridge and sewer system – isn’t known and may not be for several years. Neither are the operating costs known.

Something needs to be done about the aging Crystal Pool, that issue is not in question. The timing is problematic so can the taxpayer handle another big hit or can the project scope be scaled back.

Maybe the YM-YWCA would be prepared to run and pay for the complex if the current facility is gifted to them? Will out-of-City users pay a premium for admission? How can the CRD help pay for the project through a regional assessment? Is there a more modest version of this project to consider? Is there a multi-use, private-public formula that might work?

City liabilities at the end of 2015 amounted to $135-million with longterm debt at $65-million. In the 2017 budget council is proposing $50-million in capital projects, double most years.

Someone do the math and exercise some fiscal prudence, please, before we all go underwater.