With less than a month before the pool’s target opening date, the Town of Vauxhall is working out the landscape issues.
With the promised $350,000 for the pool from the Alberta Community Partnership program being slow in coming in, Vauxhall CAO Cris Burns looked into what the hold-up was at Municipal Affairs, as grants from other programs had also not come in yet. But for the big pool grant the town hasn’t even received the contract for it – which they need to sign before the money arrives.
“It’s the same as the MSI (Municipal Sustainability Initiative), they seem to be alseep up there – not to seem nasty – but Municipal Affairs is busy with the Fort McMurray fire, and they say a lot of staff are committed to taking care of the paperwork on that job,” said Cris Burns, CAO for the town.
“They said we’re close to (the top of) the list, because we’re high priority.”
Worst case scenario is that the town will need to dip into the reserve funds to pay the pool bills if the grant doesn’t come in on time.
However, Burns didn’t come with just bad news.
He talked with the landscaping contractor for the pool, who said if the town does the work, they can save some money on the fake grass.
“We can get the pricing down, if we install it ourselves. The supplier said that they would come out and give us some guidance, as long as we had people there to do the work.”
The cost of the fake grass is $10 a square foot.
By doing the work themselves, the discounted price would be $6 a square foot – or almost $9,000 in savings.
Burns did caution that the grass had a ten-year warranty, which would likely be the lifespan of the grass. This didn’t deter council though.
“It’s like with a lot of products, you get 11-and-a-half if you’re lucky,” said Richard Phillips, Vauxhall councillor.
All of the concrete decking is now completed on the pool, and extending the concrete work to the surrounding area would cost more than the fake grass at $10.50 a square foot, especially with the discounted DIY price of $6 a square foot.
That being said, some councillors also raised a very crucial issue: maintanence.
While dust was the primary concerns – something adminstration assured could be hosed off – Councillor Linda English raised a problem associated with real grass: weeds.
“It’ll probably be mostly dust; mostly dust and there could be the odd weed,” said English, adding that she has seen it happen in surrounding communities such as Taber.
“You’ll be quite suprised, there could be weeds… weeds will grow through everything.”
While about four inches of soil is removed and pounded down, it is still possible over time for weeds to grow through the base layer of crushed rock or gravel and up through the fake grass, particularly along seams or if no weed barriers were put in place. However, Burns says that with proper maintanence, they can prevent weed growth.
“I’d like to see grass in there,” said Kimberley Cawley, Vauxhall councillor. “I though it was really nice, when we were in Raymond.”
Council directed administration to install the fake grass within the pool perimetre and real grass outside of the the pool area.
Both types of grasses will be installed around the time that the slide is due to arrive, which is expected to be in mid-July.