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Summerland to repair pool roof

$110,000 allocated for work on aging building
Participants in the Recope program work on exercises at the Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre. The municpality has now allocated $110,000 for repairs to the roof of the aging facility. (Summerland Review file photo)

The municipality of Summerland will repair the roof of the Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre.

On Nov. 28, Summerland council allocated $110,000 for repairs, with the funding to come from the general fund capital works reserve.

Lori Mullin, director of community services, said municipal staff have been consulting roofing companies to assess the roof and provide repair recommendations.

The estimated cost of repairing the east section of the roof, over the pool area, is expected to be around $100,000.

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The roof of the facility has had leaks and Mike Fetterer, facilities maintenance supervisor with the municipality, said the repairs are needed as soon as possible. A recent wind storm in the community resulted in further damage to the roof of the building.

“It’s becoming quite a health and safety concern with our staff in the pool,” he said, adding that rain and snow will drip inside the building. “We want to try and do it as soon as possible.”

Members of council believe it is important to make the roof repairs at the pool facility.

“I think we need to look after our infrastructure,” said Coun. Marty Van Alphen.

“We have a facility. We need to look after what we have,” said Coun. Janet Peake. “I think we need to do this repair.”

The Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre was opened in 1976. In recent years, concerns have been raised about the condition of the building and reports have stated the facility is at the end of its useful life.

A referendum was held in early November, asking the public whether there was support to borrow up to $50 million to replace the 47-year-old building. The referendum failed, with 58 per cent of voters opposed.

Since a new facility will not be constructed, municipal staff will continue to work on maintenance of the existing facility.

In addition to repairing the roof, municipal staff will bring forward costs for known mechanical issues for 2024 budget discussions.

The mayor will also write to the federal minister, indicating that Summerland is still interested in potential grant funding.

Prior to the referendum, the municipality had applied for grant funding of up to $25 million through a Green and Inclusive Community Building grant. This grant was to construct a net-zero carbon building. At present, the result of the application is not known.

However, this grant application was tied to the creation of a new recreation centre in the community.

Coun. Adrienne Betts said that while Summerland voters rejected the borrowing of $58 million for a new facility, the voters may be more receptive to a lower cost if the grant were to be approved.

Coun. Richard Barkwill said the council would have an obligation to put the question to the public again if the grant were approved.

Staff will also seek the perspective of the municipality’s Recreation and Parks Commission.

John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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