Renovations to Welland’s busiest outdoor pool are delayed due to money troubles

By Karen Longwell

Published on July 5, 2022 at 12:18 p.m.

Photo of the City of Welland

Renovation plans for one of Welland’s most popular public swimming pools have hit a snag.

The city had hoped to secure federal grant funds to revitalize Memorial Park Pool, but those funds have yet to arrive.

Memorial Park Pool was built in the late 1950s. After more than 60 years in operation, it is still Welland’s busiest outdoor public pool. It attracted over 14,500 visits during the 2019 season.

The city had hoped to secure a grant from the federal government for green and inclusive community building and began a bidding process for the Memorial Park Pool Project.

But all the tenders went over budget, so the city couldn’t get the federal grant — which could have funded 60% of the project.

“All staff were thrilled and hopeful the city would receive this grant,” said Rob Axiak, director of community services.

Axiak is optimistic the city can still secure funding for the project, but in the meantime, council has approved deferring work.

“Staff will seek to maintain the current pool to remain open to the public until we can secure the necessary funding for the revitalization,” Axiak said.

Welland staff estimate that the Memorial Park pool can operate for an additional season (2023) if needed, with minimal renewal requirements.

The project was supposed to start in 2021 but the city waited to try and secure the grant that could have covered $3.8 million of the original $6.4 million budget.

City staff expect project costs to increase by 10% by next year. The board therefore approved increasing the project budget from $6.4 million to $7.75 million.

Escalating costs have been difficult to predict in the current financial climate, the city noted.

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