Peace River town council voted at its regular meeting Aug. 14 to not approve an additional $225,000 in its budget for the hot tub replacement at the indoor pool.

The replacement project began last fall when it was realized the hot tub was no longer operating properly. Mayor Elaine Manzer explains the replacement has encountered some challenges that are impacting projected construction costs.

“Costs have increased as the scope of the work increased as examination of the hot tub infrastructure came to light as work moved forward on the project,” says Manzer.

“Once it was determined that the hot tub had leaks, assessments of the hot tub itself and the hot tub piping determined that some of the piping needed to be replaced as the leaks were not coming from the same places as had been repaired in the past,” she adds.

Work being completed up to this date, shows the turnover rate for the water in the hot tub and back into filtration tank cannot meet code requirements due to pipe sizes that lead from the filtration tank to the hot tub basin. All of these pipes that are buried in the floor of the filtration room need to be replaced and a leaky adjacent pipe also needs to be replaced. Speculation by contractors is that replacement of pipes in the room may cause other damage to adjacent piping.

“Other pipes leading into and out of the hot tub were leaking and had deteriorated over the 35 years of the hot tub’s existence,” says Manzer. “With further investigation of the scope of the work which requires replacing piping – some of which is embedded in cement and is 12 feet down in the ground and also which requires work in a very confined space, the initial estimated costs of about $500,000 for the project increased substantially.”

Currently, the total cost of the project is estimated to be $750,000, but Manzer explains a lot of these costs are still only estimates.

“An additional cost within this amount is the cost of meeting the current codes for turnover rate for the water to go through the filtration process for the hot tub,” she says.

“At this time, council did not approve the request for an increase of $225, 000 from the original capital budget. Council is waiting for more accurate costs which we hope to have in the early fall and will be discussing this matter again,” she adds.

Manzer explains the project completion has changed now that the workload has increased. She says the projected timeline is now early 2024.

“Over the 35 years of the hot tub’s life, several leaks have been observed and repaired,” says Manzer of the maintenance requirements.

“Also, in 2014, the hot tub was retiled as part of the normal maintenance program. This complete replacement of the hot tub is a rare occurrence. The Town is also getting an assessment of the life cycle of all the components that make up the pool including the pool building itself.”

Manzer explains other parts of the pool, including diving boards, steam room, and the slide have been replaced or repaired over the course of the life of the pool.

“The Town is also looking at the present saltwater chemistry system which has advantages but also the disadvantage of causing some damage to concrete,” Manzer explains.

“Decisions about changing the water cleaning system is part of the discussions on the pool upkeep. Council is waiting for the report on the state of the pool’s infrastructure to make some long-term decisions about the pool which is an amenity that see thousands of guests annually including many children from the region’s schools who learn to swim at the Peace River Pool.”

Manzer explains council is aware of the importance of the pool for recreational opportunities, therapeutic purposes and for competitive swimmers.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter – South Peace News –

By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 23, 2023 at 10:05

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta
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