ST. PAUL - The hot tub at the St. Paul Aquatic Centre has been closed for a number of weeks, as crews work to find leaks, but the project has surpassed the initial budget that was set aside for the project.
An additional $30,000 is required to complete the work, heard Town of St. Paul council on Monday night, with CAO Kim Heyman noting that whether the hot tub is fixed or decommissioned, there will be additional costs incurred. The initial budget of the project was $45,000.
"Crews have been trying to track down leaks. Twice they thought the problem was solved, but when a leak test was performed more leaks became evident," said Heyman. "Unfortunately, they are working with 40 year old plus piping and has become brittle over the years and as with most older building it has been subject to some settling and shifting."
The work being done has required a lot of jack hammering. The remaining areas of the swimming pool have stayed open while work is being done.
A proposal was put before council to install new piping throughout, and those new pipes will run to new jets.
Fund will have to come out of a capital surplus, said Heyman. She added that the municipality is in receipt of a one time top-up on the Gas Tax Fund, which can only be used for capital purposes.
Coun. Gary Ward made the motion to approve using funds from capital surplus to do the additional work to complete the necessary repairs to the hot tub.
Before voting on the motion, Coun. Brad Eamon offered his thoughts on the situation, and alluded to looking at a replacement project at some point due to issues that have been seen over the past few years, not just weeks.
"I'm just wondering, as a group, it seems like the hot tub is always leaking... When do we look at maybe doing something a little more than trying to patch holes here and there, and patch roofs and more holes? The costs seem to be getting higher and higher... and it sort doesn't ever seem to stop." said Eamon.
In response, Heyman noted that the feasibility study recently approved by the Town of St. Paul, County of St. Paul, Town of Elk Point and Summer Village of Horseshoe Bay will likely look at the swimming pool, and a potential replacement project "down the road."
Coun. Ron Boisvert asked how long it would take for the work to be done, to which Director of Parks and Recreation Harvey Smyl responded, saying it would be about an eight-day project with work hopefully starting at the end of the week.
Mayor Maureen Miller asked what the longevity of the project will be. Smyl said there were many other parts to the hot tub that are aging, but he didn't have a specific lifespan.
"What would it cost for us then to do a full rebuild of the hot tub?" asked Coun. Nathan Taylor.
"It would be a substantial amount of money... and I couldn't give you a number on that," said Smyl.
Ward responded to Taylor's question also, saying that in about 2015, there were issues with the hot tub and the Town looked at replacement cost at that time, which was $450,000.
"Everything has to come out and be cleaned up... and that figure now would be a lot higher than $450,000," said Ward.
"A good reason to do a study," said Miller.
A motion to approve the funds was carried unanimously.