Council approved several costly improvements to popular city parks during budget planning on Monday.
The city’s 2014 budget will include repairs to Centennial Pool, improvements to the foreshore at Robert Ostler park, parking lot upgrades at Willow Point Park, the development of another dog park, and a plan to fix up Nunns Creek Park.
Council voted to spend $100,000 from parks parcel taxes – which come from taxpayers – to repair the pool basin at Centennial Pool which was leaking thousands of litres of water every day last summer.
Repairs will involve removing and reapplying all the sealants in the basin, which is expected to extend the life of the pool basin for three to five more years, according to a city staff finance report.
Robert Ostler Park
Council will spend $630,000 to improve the foreshore at Robert Ostler Park, which has suffered significant damage due to recent storms.
“The storms caused significant damage to Ostler Park due to the failure of the foreshore armouring,” said Ross Milnthorp, the city’s manager of parks, recreation, and culture. “The failure of the armouring has resulted in erosion of the bank and undermining of the adjacent sea walk. Infrastructure such as picnic tables and benches will continue to be destroyed, exposure to salt water will damage turf in the foreshore area of the park and undermining of the sea walk will result in the loss of the sea walk in this area.”
Council, after hearing from Milnthorp, decided to go ahead with the improvements to the foreshore which will involve an engineering assessment to determine the best course of action. Options are to add riprap to the armouring where the existing riprap has failed or if, the engineering assessment deems it viable, a soft shore may be created which would entail removing the existing riprap and replacing it with gravel.
Council also approved paving the upper parking lot at Willow Point Park, which serves users of the splash park, playground, baseball diamonds and the recycling bins. That project will cost $90,000 which will be paid for through the parks parcel tax.
The parks parcel tax will also be used to pay for a new dog park ($25,000).
Coun. Ryan Mennie said the city’s only dog park, Penfield West Linear Park, demonstrates that there’s a need for a second park.
“I do walk by the dog park on College Drive, it’s the only dog park we have, and it’s great to see the success of that dog park,” Mennie said. “It’s used at all times of the day.”
Milnthorp said city staff are still in the process of identifying the right location for the dog park but did say they have been looking at a number of locations in Willow Point and Campbellton, one potentially being Nunns Creek Park – an area council hopes to improve.
City staff had allocated $95,000 from the parks parcel tax to do a master plan on Nunns Creek Park in 2017.
But council didn’t want to wait that long.
“Nunns Creek Park is a vital part of Campbellton and this council has indicated that Campbellton is very important to them,” Coun. Larry Samson said. “To leave Nunns Creek Park to 2017 before we even start the study leads us into 2020 before we even begin to do anything with this part of our city.”
Coun. Ron Kerr agreed with Samson that Nunns Creek is a pressing issue.
“I really do believe Nunns Creek Park is a pearl in the centre of the city, and (the master plan is) developing a vision of what this really can be,” Kerr said. “Some of us see that, some of us don’t but we need to support it and we need to be moving ahead with it.”