By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Pool lovers will have to wait a little longer before enjoying the new pool slides in Coaldale.
During their regular May 8 meeting, Coaldale town council received an update on the community swimming pool.
In their 2023 Capital Budget, council had approved $495,000 for the Coaldale Swimming Pool upgrade project, which features replacing the PVC membrane, new waterslides, new deck furniture and a ramp.
Following a request for proposal, Northern Aquatics was awarded a contract for the PVC membrane replacement for $217,500 and GST. Administration is working with Northern Aquatics and their slide supplier on final slide options, and with input from the Waves and Blades working group administration landed on a double slide option, with an estimated cost of $237,500.
“The supply and engineering of the slide is taking longer than originally anticipated. The company they picked, they purchased the slide itself from is out of Ontario. They’re working on some of the wind-loads and things like that in southern Alberta, so it’s taking them a little bit longer then originally anticipated,” said Russ Tanner, director of recreation and community services for the town, adding they were working with them on doing some of the concrete work to help keep costs down. “When this slide gets ordered and comes, the earliest it actually would be here would be the middle of July.”
Tanner said it would then take seven to 12 days to install the slide, and the pool would not be operational during this time. As this would affect the service of the community pool, Tanner is seeking direction from council on how to proceed.
Council could choose to close the pool and cancel programming for the seven to twelve days to accommodate the installation of the new water slides. They could also choose to delay the installation of the water slides to the off-season to allow for the pool to stay open for a full swim season, which administration recommends, as the former option would shorten an already short swim season.
“We just feel that closing for seven to 12 days in the middle of the program, in the middle of the summer, would impact such a small window drastically. At the same time, we’re not even totally convinced yet that that slide is going to be here by the end of July.”
Mayor Jack Van Rijn raised concern over the slide delivery date of the middle of July, asking wouldn’t they have known when they awarded the contract that there would have been such long delivery on the slides. Tanner said the other company that responded to the RFP said it was too short of a timeline for both the PVC membrane and the slides, but Northern Aquatics felt they could meet their timeline for both, so they immediately signed the contract for the PVC membrane, as it was a must for the pool to open.
“We were working on options for slides with the user group, the Waves and Blades group. When we chose that option, they then go back and they start doing engineering on the tower and on concrete,” said Tanner. “We were close to signing a contract with them, and then they were concerned with southern Alberta winds. They did take some time to get back to us, in all fairness, I think an extreme amount of time. Northern Aquatics was working as a middle person with the supplier, with the people that supplied the slides, but it was just recently that we got told that those slides wouldn’t be here in time.”
When asked if they had the footprint for the slide, so the town could do the work needed before the pool opens, Tanner said they did, and they wanted to nail down the cost and make sure they could take that work in order to get the savings from the contract. As they are now prepared to sign-off on the slide equipment being shipped to Alberta with the expectation that the town takes on the pilings and be provided with the engineering work for the structure, which will take place once the contract for the slides is signed. If they could get it within the next three and a half weeks, they could get some of the concrete work done ahead of time.
Coun. Dale Pickering asked if they would guarantee the cost of the slide. Tanner said they would, whether it was installed in the fall or next year.
Coun. Jason Beekman asked, before they made a decision, if they could get a better date as to when the slide would arrive, as there was a difference between end of June, when they could get two months use out of it, and August. Tanner said the earliest was 90 days from order. Coun. Jason Abrey noted it would be hard to put the slide in mid-season due to staffing issues.
Council passed a motion to direct administration to push the installation of the water slides to the off-season in order for the Coaldale Swimming Pool to stay open for a full swim season, in a split 4-3 vote. Coun. Lisa Reis, Beekman and Pickering voted against the motion.
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