02/15/2013 11:05 EST | Updated 04/17/2013 05:12 EDT

Vanderhoof residents vote on borrowing $4M for public pool

Vanderhoof residents will vote Saturday on whether the northern B.C. community should borrow up to $4 million to build a public pool.

The closest public pool is about 80 kilometres away in Prince George.

But the city would have to borrow up to $4 million to build and help maintain the proposed $12-million aquatic facility. The rest of the money would come from provincial and federal infrastructure grants, individual donations and corporate sponsorships.

But going ahead with the pool project would mean an annual tax increase of $230 for the average family.

Steve Little, a town councillor and chair of the pool committee, says the financial costs of the project are worth the health and social benefits.

"Communities that come together in social situations such as a pool help keep a close-knit community, and therefore crime has a harder time setting up and taking hold in the community,” he said.

But resident Marlene Bernier says the price of building a pool in Vanderhoof is too steep.

"I don't think it's financially viable with the few people there are to support it."

This will be the third time in 20 years Vanderhoof residents will vote on building a public pool.