• John Jantak

Aquatic centre project will go ahead in Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot will go ahead with plans to build a new aquatic centre on Forest

Avenue despite Pincourt’s withdrawal from the RELIP and the project.

Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot will go ahead with an indoor swimming pool complex despite the withdrawal by neighbouring Pincourt from the both the project and the Régie de équipements de loisirs de L’Île Perrot (RELIP), the island’s regional leisure and recreational organization that had been trying to find a suitable spot for the new facility.

NDIP Mayor Danie Deschênes was dismayed with the withdrawal which was announced at the Pincourt council meeting on May 11, but said her municipality and L’Île Perrot support the aquatic centre and will proceed with construction of the facility on Forest Avenue. Deschênes said Pincourt has been reluctant to support the project after it was revealed by the architectural firm Poirier Fontaine that NDIP was best suited to house the facility after studying two other sites proposed by Pincourt and L’Île Perrot.

“I’m glad we’re moving to the next step. We pushed them to make a decision at our last meeting because we weren’t advancing the project. We asked them many times whether they were willing to go ahead or not,” Deschênes told Your Local Journal.

“It all comes back to the fact that when the venue was decided, Pincourt was not comfortable with the decision that RELIP had made,” said Deschênes. “They wanted the pool to be in Pincourt. At this point, there’s nothing that I can do or want to do about it. It’s their decision but for us, it’s actually good news. We need to go ahead with this project. A large percentage of the citizens requested it so it needs to be done.”

The cost of the aquatic centre was estimated at $15 million, but now that Pincourt has withdrawn from the RELIP, modifications may be required to the original plan to make sure it remains affordable for NDIP and L’Île Perrot, said Deschênes. It also means Pincourt residents will have to pay more to access the facility after it’s built. “Now that we’re only two cities handling the project, we will go ahead with the first phase of the plan and decide what we’re going to keep and what we’re going to let go of,” said Deschênes. “We need to build a complex we can actually afford. It might be smaller because we need to pay for it.”

Pincourt Director General Michel Perrier said the town’s decision to pull out of the project and RELIP had nothing to do with the location of the facility, but was made because doubts were raised by council regarding the lack of soil testing around the proposed site which could negatively impact the facility in the future. “At this point in time, no soil tests have been done,” said Perrier. “Pincourt stated many times during RELIP meetings that we should conduct the tests because that could have a serious impact on construction costs if it’s not the right type of soil.”

The town is also concerned about the financial implications for its taxpayers if the aquatic centre becomes a money-losing venture, and that not enough emphasis was placed on establishing a business plan to accurately assess potential revenue and related operating costs.

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