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Sask. municipal pool reno stalls due to rejected funding

The progress on the replacement of Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, has halted, because the application put into the federal grant system for it has been rejected.
The progress on the replacement of Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, has halted, because the application put into the federal grant system for it has been rejected.

The progress on the replacement of the Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, has halted due to the Federal Government rejecting a request for a grant to fund the project.

According to MooseJawToday, Moose Jaw City Council report said Moose Jaw City Hall had approved the project to move forward, instructing Moose Jaw’s Parks Recreation & Culture department to start the preliminary design and pre-tendering process for the 56-year-old pool’s replacement.

The proposed new aquatic centre will have the following features:

  • A building spanning 870 m2 (9365 sf) with reception desk, universal change rooms, concession, staff rooms and mechanical and storage rooms built into it
  • An eight-lane, 25-m (82-ft) lap pool built over 535 m2 (5759 sf), with an inclusive ramp providing accessibility to differently abled individuals
  • A leisure pool with a footprint of 232 m2 (2497 sf) having lazy river, tot pool, accessible entry, and spray features
  • A 40-m (131-ft) water slide, including its access tower.

The project is forecasted to cost $8,999,434, with $6,533,945 expected to be funded by the federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) and provincial Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure stream and $2,465,489 contributed by the city.

The City Council had also approved the design concept and initial budget forecasts for the project and had put in the finalized ICIP grant application in May this year, said Derek Blais, director of parks and recreation, during the Aug. 22 executive committee meeting.

However, the provincial government notified the Parks Recreation & Culture department about the rejection of the application made under the ICIP program, due to an influx of requests exceeding the available funding for the round. This round is expected to be the last one for getting grants for recreation venues through the ICIP program. Blais said this means that other options must now be considered to fund the project, which will be difficult for an infrastructure project this huge, and he added the project will be delayed.

“We’ll have to stay tuned to see what’s coming through the federal government (and) provincial government (and) those types of options. We will also have to look at financing option … as we work through where we can find $9 million,” he said.

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