Edmonton City Hall wading pool changes to be debated at council Tuesday
What to do with the popular wading pool in front of Edmonton City Hall will be debated Tuesday at city council.
City councillors will hear more information about alternative forms of security and surveillance from the administration, which says the 25-year-old fountain needs to be renovated to meet Alberta Health Services pool standards.
The main concerns are the pool’s 40-centimetre depth, how often it filters the water and the speed at which water flows out into the drains.
There are also concerns surrounding building codes. In order to be compliant, the city would need to build a permanent two-metre-high fence, drain the pool every night or provide 24-hour security, the sides and bottom of the pool must be white in colour and there would need to be a washroom and change rooms built.
The Edmonton City Hall wading pool during the winter.Kent Morrison/ Global News
Late last year, city administration proposed three options: one that would make the pool shallower, and two others which keep the original depth but make the space safer.
The first is to reduce the depth of the water from 40 centimetres to 15 centimetres. Construction is expected to last for 13 months and will allow for the plaza to be reopened for the 2019 festival season. But the report said public feedback has not been favourable for that option.
Options 2 & 3
The report also looked at keeping the water at 40 centimetres deep and building either a two-metre-high fence or having 24-hour security. Both options would require an additional $400,000 to upgrade the filtration system required for the larger volume of water and could take an additional six months, which could impact the 2019 festival season.
The fence would impact overall aesthetics, flow and usage of the city hall plaza, according to the report and 24-hour security would be costly. The city said hiring staff, including dedicated overnight on-site security, would cost an estimated $121,000 a year.
Last month, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said he’d rather put that money towards offering free admission to outdoor pools again this summer or adding some kind of playground feature at city hall, rather than use it to make the wading pool slightly deeper while meeting provincial rules.
— More to come…
— With files from Quinn Ohler and Emily Mertz, Global News