Port McNeill’s outdoor pool is in urgent need of fixing if it is going to open on time this summer.
A report from Chief Administrative Officer Pete Nelson-Smith was included in the town’s last agenda, which stated the pool “requires significant upgrades to its mechanical system. There is the availability of a heat loop provided by the Regional District of Mount Waddington to help offset the costs of heating and reduce the Town’s Greenhouse Gas emmissions through excess heat produced at the Chilton Arena. The connection is already available.”
According to Nelson-Smith’s report, back on Jan. 21 council passed a resolution to apply for up to $300,000 through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Fund — Community, Culture and Recreation, where the town would commit $78,000 to its share of the project that would see the necessary upgrades and the heat loop connection.
“Public Works Manager Julian Allen offered to prepare a mitigation budget to see the pool through the 2019 season,” noted Nelson-Smith, who added on Jan. 23, staff submitted the application for the funding.
However, Nelson-Smith stated it has been “requested that the matter be reconsidered” because “there is concern that the pool will not be available for the 2019 season if repairs are not made.”
According to the report, “staff has continued discussions with the contractor from Nautilus regarding the swimming pool condition assessment and mechanical component upgrade. It has been concluded that there is insufficient lead time to procure, install and commission all of the mechanical components prior to the start of the 2019 season. However, after further discussions regarding the most vulnerable part of the process, installation of only a new chlorination system could be achieved before the start of the season at a cost of $65,000. This would be part of the contemplated upgrade and could impact negatively upon the grant application unless an alteration was agreed to in time.”
Nelson-Smith stated another option is to perform short-term repairs to keep the swimming pool operating through the 2019 season at a cost of approximately $26,000. “These would be repairs and not considered as starting the upgrades,” added Nelson-Smith. “This option is the least expensive but will offer some level of reliability for this year with the anticipation of being awarded the funding for a total mechanical upgrade prior to the 2020 season.”
Options presented to council were as follows:
1. Do nothing. Provide minimal repairs to the pool facility and keep the grant application active ($26,000);
2. Have staff contact Investing in Canada and request an altering of our grant request ($65,000);
3. Repeal the grant application and budget repairs in 2019 budget; or
4. Other options as recommended by council.
Council discussed the options with Allen, before Mayor Gaby Wickstrom asked him if he was fairly confident “with the $26,000 that you could get it done in time for the season opening?”
“Yes, one hundred per cent,” said Allen. “The $26,000 is definitely doable, and it would be more reliable than it is now.”
Coun. Shelley Downey made a motion to budget the $26,000 in order to have a pool serviceable on opening day.
Council voted on the motion, and it ended up passing unanimously.