Moncton neighbourhood works to save last outdoor pool in the city
The future of the last outdoor pool in Moncton, N.B., is still unknown and its surrounding neighbourhood residents have been left wondering if the pool will ever reopen.
In 2013, the pool was closed when leaks were found and the city made a commitment to replace the facility.
“It’s been four years. It’s time for a decision to be made,” said Moncton East Youth Centre director Pikey French.
French has been waiting anxiously for the city to make a decision on whether the pool will be fixed, replaced or demolished.
Ward 1 Coun. Shawn Crossman spearheaded a campaign at the time to get the funds to rebuild the pool and $1 million was allocated in the city’s 2014 budget.
He said he’s now wondering if the money will ever find its way to the project.
“I put a $1 million in the budget and the City of Moncton went to the capital borrowing board, put that on the list when they presented to the capital borrowing board of $1 million for the east end pool as directed,” Crossman said. “You know, we’ve got to stop going back. We gotta start going forward.”
Asked where the project stood, Mayor Dawn Arnold said more money would be needed.
“We’ve done an architectural evaluation and it indicates that to have a public swimming pool, it would cost, at minimum, almost $2 million even with all the infrastructure there,” said Arnold in an email statement.
Crossman said he’s gotten several quotes for the pool’s rebuild and is concerned about the numbers being given by the city.
“I got three or four quotes. The highest price, you know, around a $2-million price on the highest and on the lowest, a $1.2-million pool, but that’s not only a pool,” Crossman said. “Everything that goes along with it, taking out the existing one and putting in a new one.
“I think they’re flying by the seat of their pants down there.”
Crossman added that he approached the province to make up the cost difference, presented his estimates, and was met with a positive response.
“They were very open to the idea. They want kids to be active,” Crossman said.
French said a new pool is essential, not only to the east-end residents but people throughout the city.
READ MORE: Backyard pools damaged by rough N.B. winter
“Ward 1 covers a big area. That pool was used by kids not only in Ward 1 — there’s many kids that use it,” French said. “We have a lot of social problems. These kids, there’s a lot of peer pressure and a lot of social problems, you know, it was a place for them to be all day.”
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.