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Hot tub woes coming to an end for Sparwood

The district has budgeted $363K for a new hot tub
The troublesome Sparwood Leisure Centre hot tub (pictured) has been nickle-and-diming the district for too long, so its time is up as of 2022. (Image courtesy of District of Sparwood)

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the District of Sparwood’s hot tub woes – but residents will have to keep their fingers crossed not much else goes wrong with the perennially problematic pint-sized pool.

District councillors have set a date for the hot tub’s replacement – in 2023.

“We agreed to waylay the project until June of 2023,” said Mayor David Wilks. “That coincides with the closure of the Rec Centre (for maintenance)”.

According to Wilks, the amount originally budgeted for replacement of the hot tub had come up short by $88K according to the successful tender applicant.

“They have anticipated that the $275,000 that was budgeted by council is $88,000 short, so council approved an additional $88,000 that will come out of the 2023 budget. “

The new budget for a hot tub will now be $363,000, with MPE Engineering to do the honours of designing and building the tub.

The new tub will be built in the same spot as the old one, and will have a capacity of at least 20 seats (compared to the existing tub at 28). While the district hopes capacity will be at 28, the new tub will have some new features.

“It will be wheelchair accessible … so it can be used by anyone,” said Wilks.

The new tub will be constructed next year, during the scheduled maintenance of the Rec Centre in June and July. The entire centre will have to be shut for that period while it is constructed.

The expense and effort is worth it however, said Wilks. The hot tub is a well-used and loved amenity within the district, despite how cantankerous it has gotten with age, costing district staff time and money to fix it seemingly every few weeks.

“We’ve corrected every ailment it has had – we’ve replaced everything we can physically replace on it.” The tub was built when the Rec Centre was, making it 37 years old.

While it’s cost a pretty penny so far, Wilks said with a budgeted new tub, that should be it.

“We don’t want to be putting exorbitant amounts of money into it now that we know we are going to replace it next year, but (staff) are confident we will be able to keep the hot tub running until next year.”

The current hot tub has been on-and-off operating for the last two years, with staff regularly having to close it off to public access to figure out what was wrong with it – a task made harder by the fact that all the pipes and associated infrastructure around it was encased in concrete. Cumulative costs to keep attending to the tub cost the district around $30K in one year, not including staff time.

READ MORE: Saga of the Sparwood hot tub nears it’s end (?)
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