By Devan Mighton – Originally published in the LaSalle Post on Mar. 10, 2017
(LASALLE, ON) – With Mayor Ken Antaya, Deputy Mayor Marc Bondy, and Councillor Jeff Renaud out of town for the annual Ontario Good Roads Association conference in Toronto, Councillor Terry Burns presided over last week’s LaSalle Town Council meeting.
The chief item on the docket was the contract for the Vollmer Recreation Complex’s planned splash pad and playground.
With money allocated to the project with this year’s budget, Town administration accepted quotes from contractors through to Feb. 21 of this year.
Administration asked potential contractors to provide layouts corresponding to Carolinian forest, sports, and nautical themes for the pad.
By the deadline, Town administration had received only two proposals from interested parties.
Days later, representatives from both companies were interviewed by LaSalle’s culture and recreation committee about their overall design and concept, construction experience, local references, service and warranty, and price among other things.
Last week, Council moved forward on the bid from YWI Landscapes, of Fergus, ON, and awarded them the contract with a price tag of $349,951.96.
YWI Landscapes has built splash pads for the City of Windsor, Leamington, and Amherstburg, as well as many other municipalities across Ontario.
Administration endorsed YWI Landscapes’ nautical design proposal, which has 34 play features, including the much-touted Mega Soaker, a large bucket mounted overhead that dumps water on all below when it reaches its tipping point.
The Town went ahead with the nautical theme citing LaSalle’s identity as a waterfront community.
“We felt it went along with the town’s branding – the town’s heritage,” said Mark Beggs, manager of roads and parks.
“It’s going to be set up so there’s an area for young kids, middle-aged kids, and older kids so there is something for everyone. With seating around the outside, shaded areas, along with an accessible playground that will be right in the same area.
“It will be an exciting project.”
The contractors also said they would be capable of meeting the construction deadline of June 26, setting the Town up for a high-profile grand opening.
“The splash pad is expected to be ready for Canada Day,” said Patricia Funaro, director of culture and recreation. “The Town will be hosting a Canada Day celebration in recognition of Canada’s 150th [anniversary] and hope to have the splash pad included in the event.”
“There’s definitely plans for a grand opening,” added Beggs. “Stay tuned for details.”
“We are going to be meeting with our vendor … to work on final design work and they have given us assurances that they can deliver by the Canada Day weekend as long as we are able to keep moving forward with approvals like we did tonight.”
During the dog days of summer, a splash pad will surely serve as a welcome respite from this region’s typically unrelenting humid conditions.
“Having a splash pad is one of the biggest requests from the residents of LaSalle,” said Funaro.
“A splash pad is a natural fit and an exciting compliment to the Vollmer Complex.
“In addition to being available to the public, we are thrilled that programs such as our Summer Day Camp will be able to use it.
“… an accessible playground is also part of the plan. We will be announcing additional information about the entire project in the coming weeks.”
After the final design is given approval by the Town’s culture and recreation committee, construction of the splash pad will likely begin in May.
The next Town Council meeting will be on Tuesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at the LaSalle Civic Centre.
For the agenda and/or more information, please visit LaSalle.ca.