On Monday night, Moose Jaw City Council authorized the application for funding that will keep the new outdoor pool project afloat. 

The application is for $5.7 million from the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Grant to help cover the $9.5 million eligible for funding needed for the new pool to replace the Phyllis Dewar Pool in Crescent Park. 

One of the main criteria for the grant is that the project is carbon neutral or has a transition plan to get to carbon neutral. 

"Our plan is to design it, so it doesn't require the transition plan. The main reason is that within the grant application guide, it specifically states that any applications that do not have a transition plan would receive a higher rating," said director of parks and recreation Derek Blais. 

If successful, the remaining funding of $50,000 will come from the R.M. of Moose Jaw and $4.3 million will be the city's contribution. 

The city has been looking for a new funding source since its application for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program was unsuccessful. 

The Parks and Recreation Department updated its five-year capital budget to replace the outdoor pool to reflect a possible 67 per cent cost sharing while other funding sources were being explored. 

Under the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Grant, the city would be responsible for 40 per cent of the eligible costs. With that, city council approved upping the Parks and Recreation Department's five-year capital budget as well as an additional $720,000 that is required by the grant program for contingency. 

There are some expenses, like the relocation of the existing storm line that runs below the project site, that will not be eligible under the grant program.  

The proposed new pool would have a new change room building with a reception desk, universal change rooms, concession, staff rooms, pool mechanical space and storage rooms, which would decommission the Natatorium. The pool would be an eight-lane 25-metre lap pool with an accessible ramped entry. There will be a separate leisure pool with an accessible entrance, a lazy river, a tot pool and an interactive spray pad. A 40-metre closed flume to open flume water slide with an access tower is also in the plans. 

The city is expecting to have the design phase for the pool completed by the end of this year. The planning and site development phases and 40 per cent of the construction are expected to be completed by 2024 with construction to be completed by 2025. 

"The construction would begin in October of 2024 and would continue right through to the end of June 2025. Again, we would have a shortened outdoor pool season, except on the front end this time. We would open a month later, after the July long weekend, and to keep it open until the end of August," Blais explained.