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Parks dept. buys new aeration pumps to address issues with Crescent Park creek

Information about the new pumps was contained in a fourth-quarter report presented during the Feb. 26 regular council meeting.
Crescent Park's serpentine creek, looking toward the outdoor pool, last summer. Photo by Jason G. Antonio

Crescent Park’s serpentine creek was not a sight — nor smell — to behold last summer because of an algae bloom and stagnant water, but city hall hopes to address that issue this year. 

The parks and recreation department obtained replacement aeration pumps for the Crescent Park serpentine fountains during the final months of last year, which it hopes to install and commission this spring, according to a fourth-quarter report presented during the Feb. 26 regular council meeting.

This purchase caught the eye of Coun. Doug Blanc, who wondered if the new devices would completely clean the water and eliminate the odour.

These new pumps will re-circulate the water more effectively and increase flows, which should reduce most of the algae build-up, said Scott Osmachenko, manager of recreation services. However, the devices won’t solve the entire problem — particularly with odour and colour — because the city must still dredge the creek and haul away the build-up of mud.

Council heard last September that it would likely cost more than $500,000 to upgrade the serpentine. However, its focus this year is on constructing a new Crescent View Sewage Lift Station, which is expected to cost roughly $70 million.

Other initiatives

Besides purchasing the aeration pumps, the parks and rec department also pursued dozens of other capital projects from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, with some notable ones presented below.

Staff continued to work with the operations department on potentially removing the bridge in VLA Gate and re-directing the pathways elsewhere so snow removal equipment can safely access this area. The two departments have carried this initiative into 2024.

The department completed phase 2 of the roof replacement at Golden Ticket Sports Centre in December. Contractors discovered a damaged roof beam, forcing department staff to conduct a structural assessment. An engineer later recommended some repair options that the city must make in 2024 to maintain the structural integrity of the roof.

The city will continue its consultations this year with user groups of Memorial Field to determine the long-term plans for the venue. The department shut down public access to the grandstands last year due to the deterioration of the seats and related safety risks. It also conducted a structural assessment to determine options for repair or replacement.

Staff replaced or installed four exterior doors and four interior security gates at the Kinsmen Sportsplex.

The department completed the re-fastening of the Cultural Centre marquee and installed new structural bracing within the wall, with a professional engineer designing and inspecting the project. However, since the Mae Wilson sign refurbishment was delayed, staff will work on it this spring. 

The refurbishment will include repainting the sign and installing new LED lighting. 

The next regular council meeting is Monday, March 11. 

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