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Vernon Peanut Pool costs rise $1M

Multiple factors in play for cost increase, says city; taxpayers not on the hook for extra funding
Unexpected costs have pushed the reconstruction price tag of Vernon’s beloved Peanut Pool at Lakeview Park past $4.4 million. (City of Vernon photo)

Water won’t rise in Vernon’s historic Peanut Pool in 2023.

But construction costs of the new pool at Lakeview Park will, though not at the expense of taxpayers.

Vernon council announced an increase in costs for the Lakeview Wading Pool Revitalization Project of $1,034,640 at it’s regular meeting Monday, March 13. This brings the total cost for the project to $4,435,825.

The increase is the result of multiple factors, including the recent tender for the project’s mechanical, washroom and storage building, which came in at $1,362,142; approximately $600,000 over the estimated cost.

The increase also covers costs that were incurred for additional excavation due to the clay content of the East Hill soil; increased costs associated with the concrete work throughout the winter; and the extended construction timeline. The additional funding also replenishes the project’s five per cent construction contingency.

“It is always regrettable when we see escalated costs that require a project budget to be increased,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “Until this most recent tender, the project team had been able to keep the project close to budget.”

Cumming said when council reviewed the additional funding request, they determined they did not want to see the project scaled back.

“This is a vitally important facility for families in our community and it has been well-used every summer since 1958,” he said. “Therefore, council decided to provide the funds necessary to deliver what was presented to the community as part of the revitalization project.”

Although the project budget has increased, there will be no additional impact to taxpayers, as the funds will come from three already established sources: the City of Vernon’s Infrastructure Reserve ($301,000) and the Recreation Major Maintenance and Operational Reserves ($733,640). Nearly $1.9 million of the project is being funded by a combined federal-provincial grant from the Canada-British Columbia Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) – Community, Culture and Recreation.

The pool project includes: replacement of the pool basin; a new mechanical, washroom and storage building; and enhancements to the park with the addition of a small spray park. The project is intended to increase accessibility for users and make the space more inviting and sustainable for future use by the Greater Vernon community.

Construction of the mechanical, washroom and storage building is expected to be substantially completed by the end of August 2023, meaning the facility won’t be in use this year. The city is looking at pop-up spray parks to fill the void.

Following substantial completion of the facilities, pool equipment will have to be commissioned and the appropriate health permits will need to be approved.

READ MORE: Peanut Pool partners asked to pitch in for Vernon pop-up spray parks

READ MORE: Vernon’s Peanut Pool will not open in 2023

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About the Author: Vernon Morning Star Staff

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