During the May 16 regular meeting of Vauxhall town council, council was scheduled to meet with a delegation from the Vauxhall Friends of the Pool Society.
Although the scheduled delegation did not show up, council still took a moment to discuss their turf options for the pool.
One of the items on the pool’s wish list is artificial grass for landscaping. Vauxhall CAO Cris Burns received quotes for the various turf options for the pool, and at $10 a square foot, the bill for the artificial grass would come in at about $60,000.
“It is a bit of a horse pill,” said Burns. “I didn’t think it would be that bad until I choked on the number.”
Administration would like to hear from council what the budget should be for landscaping, as well as distance and size for the turf. That way they can determine what exactly is too much to spend on their turf options.
“I like the idea of big, but $60,000?” said Margaret Plumtree, Vauxhall mayor.
While surprisingly, it is cheaper then concrete – which came in at $10.50 a square foot, or $62,000 for the additional work, not including prepping – the faux grass option still has a hefty bill to it, especially when considering the third, less preferred option, grass sod, had came in at a mere $2,000.
Council is leery about installing real grass since they believe it will clog up the brand new pool with the eventual mess it will make.
“If you have real grass inside the fence, it’s going to end up on people’s feet and it’s going to be in the water and clog the filters,” said Richard Phillips, Vauxhall councillor.
“When I was a kid, Henderson Pool in Lethbridge – some of you remember that if you very went there – it was real grass all over the place, and you had all over the pool because of it. It will happen.”
However, the pool in Raymond has real grass surrounding its pool, and whenever coucil visits, it looks clean. They agreed to inquire into how they keep their pool clean when it is surrounded by grass, as well as possible grass maintenance.
Council also discussed the option of doing some landscaping outside the pool fence, so people can sit and relax while free swim or lessons are going on without having to pay to get in.
“I think there could be value in some nice landscaping outside of the fence,” said Phillips. “Put some nice landscaping outside the fence, put some picnic tables with umbrellas and that, and maybe those parents who have no interest going into the pool can sit outside there, visit and watch the kids without enclosing it all within the wall.”
Another issue was that the town hadn’t received their big grant yet, as the contract for it is still in the draft stages. Administration has no idea when the grant money will come through. The grant will still be available through next year, in case some items were still forthcoming for the pool.
“We still don’t know where we sit, 100 per cent,” said Plumtree. “We’re pretty sure we’re good with money for the pool, but… Everybody knows right, with construction there’s what you’re told, then there’s your final bill.”
Burns warned council that, since the landscaping probably won’t be done, smaller items weren’t being ordered until the funding comes in and the slide won’t be in on time for the grand opening, the pool won’t be completely finished, but it will still be “100 per cent usable”.
“Which is 100 per cent better then last year,” said Phillips.
Council still wants to meet with the FotP society to discuss landscaping, and are looking into setting up a special meeting to do so.