Action Laval councillors refuse to support Aquatic Complex contract

De Cotis, Cifelli suspect current $125 million budget won’t cover additional costs

Action Laval city councillors David De Cotis (Saint-Bruno) and Archie Cifelli (Val-des-Arbres) said last week that they would not be voting in favour of the contract for the Aquatic Complex because, according to their party, it “won’t be serving its original purpose” and “does not answer to the needs of the population.”

Budget skyrocketed

In addition, they said in a statement, supplementary costs could end up being added to the bill, even as the initial budget has skyrocketed, and certain elements in the original design, including a glass canopy, some parking spaces and an outdoor terrace, are not part of the new plan, they stated.

“In the end, what’s left is just a big interior swimming pool that will only serve a clientele living near the downtown along with elite swimmers from Laval,” said Action Laval party officials.

The foundations for Laval’s future Aquatic Complex are already in place on a site next to the Cosmodôme in central Laval. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

‘Humiliating,’ says Cifelli

“It was the coming of the Jeux du Québec that got this project started,” said Cifelli. “In addition to paying double for getting half as much, we will have to pay neighbouring municipalities to use their infrastructures during the next Jeux du Québec. I feel this is something humiliating for the people of Laval.”

The opposition party is suggesting, given the multiple delays in developing and bringing forward the project, and the postponement of the Jeux du Québec on two occasions, that the Aquatic Complex will be delivered late, while Laval residents in eastern and western district suffer from a lack of services, including indoor swimming in their own neighbourhoods.

The ‘two pool’ plan

“With two reasonably-priced projects, one in the east and one in the west, the citizens would have been well-served and the facilities could have served for the Jeux du Québec,” said De Cotis, referring to an alternate swimming facility plan Action Laval had suggested. “The mayor is really not listening to the needs of his population.”

‘In the end, what’s left is just a big interior swimming pool,’ Action Laval says of the Boyer administration’s revised Aquatic Complex plans

Action Laval also suspects that the current budget does not include additional costs that could come following a revision of the project. As well, the party noted that the concrete foundations, which were laid down more than three years ago, should have been reassessed before awarding the contract, and that any extra costs should there be any problems will only add to the overall budget.