Vaudreuil-Dorion prepares to apply for new aquatic centre subsidies
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Vaudreuil-Dorion’s new aquatic centre, city hall and library will be built as part of a municipal hub on vacant land on the south side of Rue Émile-Bouchard in close proximity to the Centre Multisports, the EXO commuter train station and municipal bus terminus.
Vaudreuil-Dorion is preparing to submit a request for financial support to the provincial government for the construction of its new aquatic centre project that will a part of the city’s new municipal hub.
The city’s request will be submitted by February, 2020 as part of the provincial call for projects under the Programme d’aide financière aux infrastructures récréatives et sportives (PAFIRS) that was announced by Quebec on November 8.
Financial assistance program
The purpose of PAFIRS – which translates into Financial Assistance Program for Recreational and Sports Infrastructure – is to support the presence of recreational and sports infrastructures in good condition throughout the province.
PAFIRS also aims to increase access to these infrastructures through funding, construction, development, renovation, upgrade, and expansion or retrofit projects. The city’s plan to build an aquatic complex meets the requirements of the program.
On November 18, council passed a resolution stating the city undertakes to have the work done, to assume its share of monies eligible for the project, to pay the ongoing operating costs, to assume any increase in the operating budget generated by the project, and to not award a contract for direct costs until the city receives a letter indicating that financial subsidies will be forthcoming.
Highly anticipated project
The financial assistance program was welcomed by Mayor Guy Pilon.
“We know the aquatic complex is highly anticipated by the population. We’ve been working since 2018 with aquatic associations to determine their needs,” he said.
“The city has also been working with professionals specializing in the design of aquatic centers to carry out the functional and technical aspects, which will be submitted to the municipal council in the coming weeks. We wanted to be ready to submit our grant application when a government program was available,” Pilon added.
Estimated $30 million cost
It will cost an estimated $30 million to build the aquatic centre. Pilon anticipates financial grants from both the provincial and federal governments could amount to $20 million which will defray the municipality’s cost by two-thirds.
The aquatic centre will be one major component in the city’s highly anticipated municipal hub which will also include a new library and city hall. All three facilities are tentatively scheduled to be completed by 2022. They will be built on vacant land on the south side of Rue Émile-Bouchard in close proximity to the Centre Multisports, the EXO commuter train station and municipal bus terminus.
New city hall and library
Plans for the new city hall have been in the works since 2017. Mayor Pilon said one aspect of the upcoming project is to move away from being a tenant at its current location on Rue Dutrisac to being an owner. This way it could use the money it spends for rent and apply it directly towards a mortgage for a building that the city owns.
A new library is also a necessity because the current library on Rue Jeanotte doesn’t have any more room to expand. Having all three facilities built next to each other as part of the municipal hub will centralize all three buildings in one central location with the highest population density in the city.
“It will make it easier for our citizens, administration and everything,” said Pilon. “We looked at the plans for the town and found an empty lot. The owner didn’t seem to have many offers so we bought the land. It’s near the parking lot for the Réseau de transport métropolitain (RTM) and across the street from the sports centre. We decided it was a good idea to regroup all the buildings and build a kind of civic centre.”