Huron East supports new splash pad in Seaforth
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Huron East Council has thrown its support behind the Seaforth Lions Club and its plan to install a new splash pad at the Seaforth Lions Park.
Council made the decision at its Feb. 15 meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom, to support the endeavour, recommending a flowthrough splash pad with a repurposing system (holding tank).
Chief Administrative Officer Brad McRoberts, in his report to council, advised that a flowthrough system will cost between $7,000 and $12,000 per year in water costs. As a result, between staff time, electricity, shut down and start-up costs and dechlorination supply, the municipality’s portion of the project would cost between $10,000 and $15,000 per year to operate and maintain.
He also advised council of the low level of mechanical equipment involved with the system, meaning that repairs and capital maintenance will be relatively low.
“The recirculating system is more labour intensive, as it requires two to three hours per day to operate and maintain, requires the use of chemicals, uses significantly more electricity, and has a higher insurance premium,” McRoberts said in his report. “Annual operating costs are estimated to be between $13,000 and $19,000 per year, including staff time, chemical supply, electricity and insurance.
“While the capital and operating cost is higher, the recirculating system is a more environmentally sustainable alternative and does not consume the available capacity of the municipal water system.”
McRoberts also noted that, while the Lions Club is committed to funding the project and maintaining it for the duration of the splash pad’s life, the club recently received some support from the Huron East/Seaforth Community Development Trust to the tune of $10,000 per year for 10 years for maintenance and operation of the splash pad.
“In conversations with the Seaforth Lions Club, it was our mutual understanding or assumption that the $10,000 per year in operational funding from the Seaforth Trust would be allocated to the Seaforth Lions’ electrical costs, estimated to be $6,000 per year and that the remainder would be used to cover the annual water supply cost. Any amount remaining after that would be used to offset additional operating costs by the Seaforth Lions Club (i.e. dechlorination material supply, Seaforth Lions Club staff time, etc.),” McRoberts said in his report. “If the Seaforth Lions Club’s operating cost for the splash pad were high enough such that the cost of the water would not be fully covered by the Huron East/Seaforth Community Development Trust amount of $10,000, then the Municipality of Huron East would be responsible for the difference.
“On this basis, there would be a financial impact to the Municipality of Huron East for the next 10 years in the amount of $3,000 to $10,500. After the 10 years, assuming no extension of funding from the Huron East/Seaforth Community Development Trust, the Municipality of Huron East would have to assume the annual water supply cost of approximately $7,000 (in 2022 dollars) for the flowthrough or holding tank options and all of the annual operating costs of the recirculating system ($14,500 to $20,500 in 2022 dollars).”
He added that the Lions Club then would have to cover the other operational costs, including electricity.
In summary, McRoberts said, a flowthrough system would cost Huron East between $3,000 and $6,000 per year, with a holding tank costing the same, when the Seaforth Trust grant is included. A recirculating system would cost the municipality between $4,500 and $10,500 per year when the grant is included.
Mayor Bernie MacLellan kicked off the conversation, saying that, if council were to support the project, he strongly suggested utilizing the holding tank option to reduce water waste and be more kind to the environment. He added that the overflow water could also potentially be rerouted to fill the municipality’s pool on a daily basis as well.
McRoberts said the Lions Club would be supportive of whichever system council chose.
Council then approved the recommendation of a flowthrough system with a holding tank and the motion was carried.