City opts to repair Peace Fountain for 2020 and hire consultant

Windsor's Peace Fountain. (Photo courtesy of the City of Windsor)

Windsor City Council has signed off on $80,000 to make sure the city’s beloved Peace Fountain is up and running next spring.

The fountain is now over 40 years old. Last spring, the city delayed turning it on after a contractor found an issue with the pump. The parts had to be shipped in from Germany.

There were also problems with the electrical wiring, but the Electrical Safety Authority agreed to license it for 2019 with the understanding repairs would be made for the 2020 season.

The bill to fix everything wrong with the fountain quickly began adding up, and repairing all the deficiencies would have cost $600,000, said Councillor Joanne Gignac. However, merely shutting the fountain off for good is not an option.

“It’s an important component along the riverfront,” she said. “People love it. Tourists love it. I think council recognized that it was something that we needed to invest in again.”

Completely rebuilding the fountain, which went into service in 1978, would have cost $1.5 million.

“Council was also presented the option to hire a consultant to look at perhaps some other models that we could incorporate instead of the floating fountain,” said Gignac.

Hiring a consultant could cost $178,000.

“The idea behind supporting this option is to get as broad a range of possibilities in front of council,” Gignac explained. “There will be a new fountain if council is presented with options that make financial sense.

“It was expressed very clearly. We want it as quickly as possible with the understanding that to undertake that process is probably going to take until 2022 before we would see a new fountain.”