Beis refutes rumours of public pool closures

By Rhonda Massad

The new Valleycrest municipal pool in Pierrefonds-Roxboro will hold its grand opening this Friday, July 4. The final construction cost was 5.4 million. Borough council recently decided in a three to two vote to add $239,526 to the original $5.2 million bill to cover unforeseen expenses. Councillor Justine McIntyre (Bois de Liesse) and borough Councillor Roger Trottier (Bois de Liesse) voted against increasing the contingency fund.

According to McIntyre, the additional cost was due to overtime hours and a Hydro Québec installation that needed to be moved, as it wasn’t properly indicated on the original plan.” McIntyre also took issue with the fact that the contractor made no allowances for contingencies. “Since we only received two bids that were well over the estimate, I would have preferred that we go back to the bidding process after we reevaluate.”

According to borough Mayor Jim Beis, the contract did not provide for contingencies because Cogela bid on a clearly outlined contract. Beis felt that the contract was very clear and concise which is why they did not originally include a contingency fund.

“We are comfortable we will not spend the entire $239,000 that we recently approved as an unexpected contingency fund,” Beis explained. “We are still negotiating with the contractor while the work continues.” Both McIntyre and Beis agreed that the borough’s five other community pools are in need of repair. The plan is have the privately owned pools cede their land to the city—permitting the city to apply for funding under Montreal’s aquatic plan (PAM) program, which would match borough funding dollar for dollar. The city is required to own the pools in order to qualify for the grants.

“There has never been any talk of closing any of the pools,” Beis reassured. “The goal has always been to try to keep them open. Historically, there has never been mention of closing any pools. We will reevaluate the study done in 2010 to evaluate all the pools and see where we are. We spent $100,000 on the other five pools this year.” 

The original Valleycrest pool was built in 1974, and was demolished to house the new 25-metre, eight-lane pool and a 5,600 sq.ft. chalet. There is no membership fee for free swim, though there are fees to join the organized programs.
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