The viewing platform at Dick Murphy Park

Rotary to rebuild Dick Murphy Park platform

The Rotary Club is offering to rebuild the viewing platform that was removed from Dick Murphy Park over safety concerns more than one year ago.

Jason Decksheimer, the city’s asset management supervisor, and Elle Brovold, the city’s property services manager, wrote in a report to city council that Rotary approached the city with its proposal shortly after city staff began pursuing design plans for a new platform.

City staff then drafted a Memorandum of Understanding – that council approved earlier this month – under which the city will provide the Rotary Club of Campbell River with engineering designs and hire a Qualified Environmental Professional while Rotary will supply all construction materials and installation.

“In exchange the city will provide funds to the Rotary Club in the amount of $25,000 which will be paid in two instalments,” wrote Brovold and Decksheimer. A further $10,000 allowance for contract administration will also be provided by the city.

That reduces the financial burden for the city which had budgeted $45,000 for reconstruction of the platform. The original structure, which was roughly 18-feet wide and stretched out into the estuary near Corilair, was dismantled in January, 2015 after being deemed a safety hazard by the city.

The structure was cordoned off prior to that, in May of 2014, after a structural inspection found severe and widespread fungal decay in the platform’s log stringers and deck.

Its poor state was discovered by Coun. Larry Samson while at Dick Murphy Park with his grandson. At the time, he voiced concerns that the structure could collapse.

“There is a concern you could go through the deck,” Samson said. “If there’s too many people, there’s concern it could collapse.”

The city has been exploring options for replacing the platform ever since and last December, council approved a plan to replace the platform with a replica of the old structure.

Council rejected a recommendation from a city commission, which includes members of the public, to spend more money – $75,000 – to build a new platform with an expanded T-shaped structure and room for picnic tables.

Council instead elected to go with the cheaper option.

Once the new platform is in place, a plaque will be mounted to the structure in recognition of the Rotary Club’s contributions, as well as the city’s.