Lake Cowichan dives into pool partnership

Lakers grab your swimsuits. You’re now able to use the Cowichan Aquatic Centre without paying double.

Officials with the Municipality of North Cowichan, City of Duncan and Town of Lake Cowichan have agreed to end the two-tier fee structure for residents of the Town of Lake Cowichan.

Residents of Youbou and Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls, are still on the outside looking in.

"I’m very pleased to have the Town of Lake Cowichan as a participating community so its citizens can enjoy this excellent facility. I really appreciate the efforts made by Mayor [Ross] Forrest and his council in helping make this a reality," said Duncan Mayor Phil Kent, in a press release issued just prior to the Citizen’s Tuesday deadline. "We welcome the citizens of Lake Cowichan to the Cowichan Aquatic Centre."

There’s no breaking-in period either. The reduced rates are effective immediately.

"It has been a long time coming and I’m pleased that we could make this happen as we start the New Year," Forrest said. "I have heard from many people who want equal access to the pool and now they can enjoy this great facility at an affordable cost."

With just the two CVRD areas left out of the loop, North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure is more hopeful than ever that a deal can be struck to include them as well.

"I am hopeful that in the near future we can reach an agreement to eliminate two-tier fees for the citizens of Areas F and I so they can enjoy the Cowichan Aquatic Centre at the same rates enjoyed by residents of the current partners," he said.

Facility users take note: the pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub are off limits this Friday, Jan. 17 through Sunday, Jan 19 to make way for a giant swim meet.