Cardiff pool project encounters issues

By Darren Lum

The recommendation to council is to focus on meeting provincial requirements for the Cardiff pool when it comes to renovations said Shannon Hunter, Highlands East Township CAO and treasurer at the virtual Highlands East council meeting on Feb. 9.

The Cardiff pool construction project, which was approved for $377,472 late last year, has started with the removal of everything from the mechanical room, while a new concrete floor was added. Currently, a pavilion is being constructed to allow for the new liner to be installed.

Hunter said there have been a few issues with the pump and filters in the mechanical room related to the construction work to improve and enable the pool to meet accessibility standards.

“We’re also required, because it is a public pool … to purchase a chemical pump that automatically keeps the right amount of chemicals in the water and these expenses are quite high and there is a high possibility if we wish to stay within our budget figures that we’re going to have to forego something else that we were planning to do and so one of the things I want council to consider is that we remove the [purchase of] heater for the poo l in order to cover the costs,” she said after the presentation of the monthly operational report for parks and recreation given by James Alden.

In an emailed response after the meeting, Hunter said, “The filters are very dated and cracked so need to be replaced.

The other items are installing an automatic chemical controller, backwash tank and new ladder. Total cost is $18,365. The extra costs are being found within the contract.”

The project plan originally included the construction of an accessible bathroom and change room and includes adding a commercial grade pool liner, upgrading filtration, pool heater, the mechanical room ceiling, stairs and the concrete floor.

Councillor Cam McKenzie asked if a heater could be installed easily later, if the pool heater is not part of this work.

Hunter said she will inquire about ensuring the required wiring for a heater can be in place for a future installation of a heater.

Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall wondered if money could be saved by deferring from “ancillary” features of the building such as the change rooms in favour of the critical hardware to run the facility.

“I’m not saying we should, I’m asking could we inquire about [if] that would be a possible option as well,” he said.

Hunter highlighted the requirement for the township to meet accessibility standards, saying “it’s really recommended the change rooms be addressed.”

“I believe the heater is a nice thing to have. It’s not a requirement for the functionality of the pool so in order to have the best that we can … I strongly encourage that is the area if we have to reduce costs that is what we look at,” she said.