EDMONTON — There won’t be a spray park in Hawrelak Park any time soon after Edmonton city council voted Tuesday to scrap the project.
Council voted 7-6 in favour of doing away with plans for a spray park and pool in the popular park after the projected cost jumped to nearly double the original estimate.
“This was a priority set by a previous council but that was different economic times,” Ward 11 councillor Mike Nickel, who voted to scrap the project, said.
Urban pool costs jump $1.8 million, city council asked to approve budget increase
Hawrelak Park Lake deemed safe for triathlon participants following blue-green algae concerns
“It’s not to say that the spray park isn’t a good idea. It’s just not a good idea today.”
City council approved a man-made beach and wading pool area in Hawrelak Park in 2013. The play area would be approximately the size of a soccer field.
READ MORE: Council endorses $2.9M water play area for Edmonton’s Hawrelak Park
However, the cost of the project has grown significantly since it was first approved three years ago. The approved budget at the time was $3.3 million. The project is now estimated at $5.1 million.
“It’s gotten away from us,” Mayor Don Iveson said. “We’ve changed where we’re going to put it, we’ve pushed it back, the scope of it has changed and the cost of it’s gone up.”
The Community Services Committee was seeking the additional $1.8 million from council Tuesday. There was debate about scaling back the project, but in the end, council decided there are better ways to spend the extra money.
“This is a tough one,” Ward 5 councillor Michael Oshry said. “We’re in really tough economic times and it’s not necessarily the time to be spending money on things that are extras.”
“This is not a bridge that people are relying on to get from A to B, or to keep goods moving or labour moving in the city of Edmonton,” Iveson said. “I think it’s reasonable for us to cut our losses.”
City council has already spent about $800,000 on the design of the project. Council said the concept could be revisited in the 2019-2022 capital budget.