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Rotary Pool could shut down for the year

Community services committee votes to wait on status of Canada Infrastructure grant

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Those looking to take a dip this summer may need to go a little further as the community services committee has approved the shut down of Rotary Pool this year.

As council waits to hear back on whether or not the city will receive a grant to fix a number of issues previously reported on by The Oshawa Express, the community services committee voted in favour of shutting down the pool for 2020.

They have also recommended to delay any immediate pool repairs until it is determined whether or not they will be receiving a grant from the federal and provincial governments.

The total cost for the repairs are estimated to be approximately $8 million. The city itself will contribute $2.1 million if the grant is approved.

Ward 4 city councillor Derek Giberson, who brought forward the motion to shut down the pool for the year, acknowledged it isn’t an ideal situation for all parties.

“I think that what I’m understanding is that for the moment, we’re in a bit of a catch 22 here,” he said.

He asked when council will find out about the grant, with commissioner of community services Ron Diskey noting they will likely find out in late spring or the early summer.

Before commmittee’s vote, Giberson also wondered about the timeline of opening the pool if they went with a short-term repair option.

Before handing the question off to director of facilities management services Kevin Alexander, Diskey pointed out there is a risk that the pool may or may not open until July or even August.

Alexander noted they would need at least six weeks to begin preparation, as well as another eight weeks of good weather for the project. He noted the pool wouldn’t open until well into July, possibly even the end of the month.

The dates given by Diskey and Alexander are reliant on the project beginning on April 1. Committee chair and Ward 4 city and regional councillor Rick Kerr pointed out this means if they began halfway through April, it wouldn’t open until August.

Ward 3 city councillor Bradley Marks asked whether or not the city should move the pool to another part of the park, or just continue to work with the existing site.

Alexander explained the problem is the ground itself, as it is “very wet, loose material” and is on a hill, therefore water comes down from the road, and they also have to deal with the local flood plain.

The ideal site, according to Alexander, is where the pool currently sits.

“Going down the hill… I don’t believe we have that capability to build on the lower end,” he said.

After all was said and done, Marks said he “wholeheartedly endorses” the recommendation to shut the pool down for the year. It’s estimated the total cost for taking this step is $60,000.

Committee voted unanimously to close the pool and wait to hear about the grant. It will now head to council for final approval.