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Senior left high and dry

A senior citizen and war veteran is wondering why he’s lost his free pass to the Surrey Sports and Leisure Complex.Paul Lanfranco, 85, used to have free access to the pool and gym at the 16555 Fraser Hwy. recreation centre. However, the city took over operations of the facility in September from the private firm offering the deal for people over 80 years old. The city’s policy is different, and Lanfranco was told his new annual rate would be $352.Lanfranco, who also served for five years in the Second World War with the 4th Canadian Armoured Division, said using the pool and gym helped his arthritis.“I’ve been going there six years now, and they’ve cut us off since Surrey took it (operations) back.”Coun. Tom Gill, a member of Surrey’s Parks Committee, was unaware of the disparity.However, he pointed out the city’s recreation facilities are already heavily subsidized, and any financial benefit offered one group, would mean increases to another.“Knowing that we’re largest city per capita when it comes to children, the same issue could apply when we’re looking at youth at risk,” Gill said.Since the issue was brought to the city’s attention, Lanfranco was offered an annual pass for $12.He said he may not take them up on it.kdiakiw@surreyleader.com

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