Edmonton

Mayor decries $60M price of Hawrelak swimming lake

Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel says there's no way the city will spend $60 million to make the lake at Hawrelak Park clean enough to swim in.

Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel says there's no way the city will spend $60 million to make the lake at Hawrelak Park clean enough to swim in.

"That's ridiculous," he said. "We need to find ways to be creative when we do things, not find ways only to spend the money."

The $60 million estimate was contained in a report prepared by city administration for a meeting of council's community cervices committee on Monday.

City administration has estimated it would cost $60 million to make the lake at Hawrelak Park safe for swimming. (CBC)

Mandel had asked how much it would cost to create a beach at Hawrelak Park and make water in the man-made lake safe for swimming.

The price includes the cost of turning the lake into a fully chlorinated and filtrated outdoor swimming pool with natural land edge.

Landscaping trails and change facilities are also included in the estimate. The bed would have to be dug out to get rid of geese waste.

The report states a permanent beach could be put at the lake for $3 million; a sandy area with a spray park or wading pools located close to the existing playground would cost $7 million.

Mandel believes something could be created for a few million dollars.

"Some place for inner-city kids and those kids who don't get out to a beach ... they can still be on the beach at Hawrelak Park just not go in," Mandel said.

Mandel blames himself for not being more explicit about what he was asking for.

The city's general manager of community services, Linda Cochrane, says her staff now have a better idea of what he's looking for.

"What we need to go back and do is exactly flesh that out and see what's possible both in terms of Alberta health standards and what they would require and what's possible," she said.

"I think we now have a sense of the scope and magnitude that he was thinking."

A revised proposal for getting a beach in Hawrelak Park will be presented to the city's community services committee in a few months.

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