Aquatic Center to get energy makeover

City planning for $2.85 million retrofit

The city continues to plan for a $2.85-million heating, ventilating and air conditioning project at the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre, but residents can rest assure that the large-scale project will not impact their taxes.

The retrofit will pay for itself through a projected $52,000 in energy savings per year, plus banking some additional funding already earmarked for debt repayment, it was announced at Trail city council’s meeting Monday.

“The system is effectively 15 years old, it was put into service when the facility was opened in 1996 so basically over time things have aged and there has been other issues with the actual envelope itself in terms of how the air is handled there,” explained city administrator David Perehudoff.

The facility with an indoor pool is full of moisture, condensation and an air pressure, which has added to the condition of aging equipment.

“We’ve seen some of the equipment depreciate quicker than we would anticipate and along with changes in technology, there is a need and an opportunity to upgrade the entire HVAC system at the aquatic centre and deal with the envelope issues at the same time.”

The project includes a number of upgrades like an overhaul to the heat pump pool heating, the addition of a mechanical dehumidifier and lighting and pool pump revisions.

The city has also approved up to $90,000 to replace one of the main boilers at the facility, following a complete failure last week.

“Because again of its age and the atmosphere conditions there, it just rusted out the boiler so there was issues with the actual firing of it,” said Perehudoff, adding that the city was aware of the boiler’s condition but was still caught off guard.

With the government’s current green standards, the renovation will help the city in its bid to make its operations neutral by 2012.

“Given the mandate that the government now has in terms of the requirement to be carbon neutral, we’re trying to reduce and be as green as possible to reduce what we’ll have to pay for carbon offsets in the future,” said Perehudoff.

City council passed three readings to a borrowing bylaw for the $2.4 million loan needed to complete the project.

A $375,000 Towns for Tomorrow grant, which was originally to go toward the Violin Lake project that was shelved, is also covering associated costs. The engineering work will be done this year but the majority of the physical work will be held off until next year.