Mayor and Council Approve Grant-in-Lieu and Aquatic Centre Contribution with Vale Manitoba Operations

At the April 11, 2022 Regular Meeting of Council, Mayor and Council approved the new four-year Grant-in-Lieu (GIL) agreement from Vale Canada Ltd for the years 2022-2025.

Vale has committed to pay $3 million CAD annually, for a base total of $12 million. In addition to the new agreement, Vale is also making an investment of $2 million CAD towards the Thompson Aquatic Centre.

“It hasn’t been an easy time for Vale or the City, and we’re glad that Vale recognizes the need to keep investing in Thompson,” said Mayor Colleen Smook. “A strong GIL contribution benefits everyone: it helps us maintain the services we have, renew our infrastructure, and of course, to get a new pool built.”

“These things benefit everyone in the community,” she added, “including Vale’s employees.”

“Vale remains committed to the long-term future of Thompson and the region,” said Gary Annett, Head of Vale Manitoba Operations. “Our operations have worked very hard to turnaround our business over the last few years and attracting the $150 million investment for Phase 1 of the Thompson Mine Extension Project. This new agreement and investment in the pool demonstrates our continued commitment to the community.”

Annett said the company is honoured to be able to also contribute to the new aquatic center. “A new pool provides many benefits for the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of the community and surrounding area,” Annett said. “Vale is very happy to play a role in helping it become a reality and improving Thompson’s quality of life.”

Council Selects Stantec Consulting To Design New Pool Facility!

On September 8, Mayor and Council accepted the recommendation of the Community Pool Committee to award Stantec Consulting with the contract to design a new pool facility to replace the Norplex Pool!

We received proposals from 13 different design firms before the RFP closed on July 8. Three evaluation teams were created to tackle the submissions, with each team including a citizen representative from the Community Pool committee’s planning and design team.

Respondents were evaluated based on the experience of their over all firms and the experience/qualifications of their lead personnel. This includes experience specific to our circumstances, including government/municipal projects, aquatic facilities, an working on projects in northern, rural, and remote areas.

The proposals themselves were judged based on their ability to demonstrate:

  • Green design and energy efficiency;
  • Understanding construction challenges in northern/remote areas;
  • Accommodating our wish-list, with the ability to scale the design down depending on budget limitations;
  • Understanding the expectations of our community and stakeholders;
  • Safety compliance;
  • Sound, innovative ideas

The recommendation of administration and the Community Pool Committee is expected to be put forward for approval at the August 24 regular meeting of Council, and the chosen firm will have their first meeting with city administration within a week of being notified that they have won the bid.

What Else is New?

Public fundraising activities are starting to ramp up again after being on hold due to public health orders and responsible social distancing: they have a few exciting ideas lined up for this winter! In the meantime, our team has continued to apply for grants as they become available, and public donations are always welcome!

The City and the Community Pool Committee still hasn’t received word from the federal government regarding the Investing in Canada’s Infrastructure Program grant: earlier in the spring, we received word that large grants will likely not be announced until Fall of 2020, so we hope to hear back soon as September approaches!

Request for Indoor Pool Design Proposals Released

The City of Thompson has officially posted the RFP to design a new indoor swimming facility that will replace the Norplex Pool, following the recommendation of KGS Group that a new facility be constructed.

Firms submitting design proposals will be asked to submit a scale-able design based on key features based on accessibility standards and the Pool survey circulated during the summer of 2019. If all of these features prove more expensive than KGS’s initial estimate, or if fundraising falls short, these features will be scaled back to more basic features. These features include, in no particular order:

  • Lane Tank/Deep End (separate from the Leisure Pool)
  • Leisure Pool/Shallow End
  • Beach Entry (for individuals with physical disabilities)
  • Water Slide
  • Hot Tub
  • Sauna
  • Steam Room
  • Birthday Party Room
  • Stand-alone Splash Pad

The RFP closes on June 12, 2020, after which applicants will be reviewed and selected.

Although COVID-19 has put a damper on a lot of the Community Pool Committee’s fundraising plans, we’re still moving forward with design planning, and continuing to look into grants to help collect the funds required for a new pool.

Brenda Babiuk donated $5000 to the Community Pool Committee during Winterfest 2020.
The Community Pool Committee Received it’s first major private donation from Brenda Babiuk during Winterfest 2020. Babiuk donated $5000 towards the construction of the new pool.

Want to see what other residents said about their desired features?Download the original pool survey results below!