By TREENA MIELKE
The cost of the outdoor pool, scheduled to be open June 1, has escalated and council needs to borrow another million dollars to see the project to completion.
At its regular meeting last week, council gave first reading to a bylaw for a $1 million debenture to cover costs of the pool project.
In accordance with the Municipal Government Act, the borrowing bylaw must be advertised for two weeks and then a 15-day petition period held before second and third readings can be given.
During the petition period, March 9 to 24, the public may submit objections to the bylaw.
Second and third readings may be given once the petition period is passed and the bylaw will become valid as of May 13 if no application is made to Court of Queen’s Bench to have the bylaw declared otherwise.
The outdoor swimming pool complex, which is now estimated to cost $3,006,000 is to include a junior Olympic five-lane outdoor pool, two hot tubs, a spray park and an 4,600 square-foot office/change room.
Funding for the pool has come from a $1 million debenture taken out last September.
Federal RinC grant funds totalling $750,000 are also part of the funding dollars that have been made available.
Ponoka County has also committed $500,000 to the project.
Rick Kreklewich, director of recreation, said the pool was originally budgeted at $2.25 million, but tenders came in much higher, bumping the estimated cost to $2.7 million.
Other costs continued to escalate, he said, noting that the spray park was originally estimated at $250,000 and is now going to cost more than $300,000. Other unforeseen costs included asbestos abatement, extra site excavation and preparation, and extra hoarding and heating costs.
Kreklewich is on site every two weeks to check on the progress of the work and told council he will supply them with a list of remaining costs.
Councillors voted unanimously to give the borrowing bylaw first reading, although Coun. Joe Anglin said he was not happy with the increase.
“It was originally budgeted much lower,” he said. “I’m not comfortable with this.”
Assistant CAO Ryan Maier told council funding for the pool is $816,000 short, but a debenture of a million dollars would ensure there would be enough dollars to cover any added expenses.
“Right now we’re at $816,000, but we just want to be sure, even though we don’t anticipate a lot of change.”
Earlier this year town council opted against shelling out $50,000 to $75,000 to ensure construction of the town’s outdoor swimming pool kept moving even in the cold weather since learning that the deadline for a federal recreation grant has been extended until October.
Kreklewich said the pool is scheduled for opening June 1 and progress has been good.
“The building is almost complete, the spray park pad is poured. We are just waiting for the waterslide, hot tubs and the pool membrane. This will happen when the weather warms up.”