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Moncton to look for additional funding from province for replacement swimming pool

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Moncton to look for additional funding from province for replacement swimming pool
Wed, Nov 15: It has been four years since the Moncton East Youth Centre’s pool was shut down and the city says it’ll need to secure more funding before it can go ahead with any replacement. Shelley Steeves has those details – Nov 15, 2017

The Moncton East Youth Centre’s pool has been shut down and locked up for four years but frustration is growing once again among parents after another delay in replacing the pool that’s been traditionally used by the city’s low-income families.

The east end pool was shut down in 2013 because of maintenance problems. In 2014, Moncton city council voted to replace the decapitated building and set aside $1 million in its budget for construction.

But it hasn’t progressed very far since then.

“They don’t care about their neighbourhood — that’s what it seems. They don’t care about the families of low income,” said Sandra King, who says her 16-year-old daughter is missing out on using the facility.

READ MORE: Moncton neighbourhood works to save last outdoor pool in the city

It wasn’t until 2017 that city council voted to finally move forward with the project and started soil testing on the site this past summer.

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According to Jocelyn Cohoon, Moncton’s director of leisure services, that is when they hit a snag.

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“We determined in the middle of the summer that we had some real issues with soil stability,” she said.

The issue has made the expected cost of the replacement pool double, coming in at just over $2 million.

Cohoon now says the city can’t move forward with the project without funding from the province.

“Should we be successful with that funding, we have every intention of continuing with our design and tendering the project and beginning construction in 2018,” she said.

WATCH: Concern is growing about the last remaining community outdoor pool in Moncton

Click to play video: 'Concern is growing about the last remaining community outdoor pool in Moncton'
Concern is growing about the last remaining community outdoor pool in Moncton

Even if funding is approved, the pool would not be ready until the summer of 2019, nearly six years after it was first shut down.

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The ongoing delays are frustrating for Pikey French, executive director for the Moncton East Youth Centre, but said that she is more concerned about the message being sent to the city’s youth.

She says the needs of low-income youth has been put on the back burner while other projects, like the Moncton Downtown Centre and the $3.4-million pool at Centennial Beach have moved forward.

“Either staff down there is not listening to the motions that council is putting forward or they are incompetent,” said French.

Cohoon maintains the delays have been unavoidable and that staff are doing due diligence to ensure that the new pool will last.

The city plans to apply for funding in the next few weeks and revealed on Wednesday that it is partnering with other aquatic centres in the city to offer citizens a discount on public swimming next summer.

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