Dear Mayor Gordon Schermerhorn and Napanee Town Council,
Your decision to close our indoor pool is a very disappointing one.
Part of the reason we moved to your district 7 years ago was because of this amenity. We value an activity we can do as a family, no matter what our age or skill level. This is an important element a pool (unlike ANY other sports facility) provides to all ages.
In this age of the obesity epidemic and the recent drowning deaths of children in our own community I find it foolhardy and disrespectful of the family unit, of people's health and to our community as a whole.
FACT: There were 89 drownings in eastern Ontario of children under 19 in 2010. 13 were under age 5. TOPPING the list of recommendations to prevent these tragedies - LEARNING to SWIM.
You continue to degrade those in our society now that may not have the means or transportation to get to another pool even more, leaving them and their children out in the cold. This is not acceptable. We live near many bodies of water - all our children need to know how to swim.
We now have to drive 1 hour and 20 minutes for a round trip to the nearest pool. This is not something easily accomplished during a full time work week, children in daycare and school and the need to spend less money. If you add in the increased risk of driving, the cost of gas and the time it takes to do anything with children - you might realize how much your decision has impacted your average pool-using resident.
Yet, our taxes have gone up by 71% since we moved here seven years ago. As a rural citizen I find that increasingly hard to swallow - especially when something is taken away that is so vital.
It has been a necessary part of my children's fitness, safety and development to swim, at least once a week throughout the year. It was a necessary thing for me when I could not do much else but swim when pregnant. It is a necessity to those suffering from arthritis and other diseases that alter their mobility. Being in a pool provides relief from gravity.
This was a very shortsighted move. Now - when I take my children to swim on the weekends - we will shop elsewhere. We will stop to eat elsewhere. Unfortunately - we will join another community.
One more tie broken to where we actually live = less money spent in our town.
We will miss the people we have gotten to know so well over the years and that feeling of a lovely, little community we had at the pool.
In closing -
I thank you, for the consideration you gave the 'pool people' as you so eloquently called us at your meetings.
I thank you for making our family time more about driving than doing.
I thank you for how politely and respectfully you turned down every proposal that could have kept a pool open in our community while a new option was created.