DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Local residents rejoiced on Monday, June 2, as councillors voted to keep the King St. parkette intact following a strong grassroots initiative.
In October of last year, the township began exploring options to possibly re-zone the King St. parkette, and turn the parcel of land into a residential lot.
However, following vocal opposition to the plan from area residents at a public meeting in February, councillors unanimously endorsed a recommendation from township planning consultant Liz Howson to refuse the proposed zoning by-law amendment.
However, improvements to the park may have to wait until next year, due to playground equipment budget constraints following the recent decision to install an accessible playground at Elgin Park, which ate up much of the township's 2014 playground equipment budget.
"Is there any money left for playground equipment in 2014?" asked local resident Brock Clark, who was one of many who opposed the proposed sale of the park.
"I don't believe there is any money left for playground equipment in 2014," replied Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor. "It'll be included in next year's playground equipment budget."
Township Parks and Facilities Manager Bob Ferguson added that the municipality will take the age of local children into account before deciding on any potential improvements to the park next year.
"We will take into consideration the age of children in the area. After all, playground equipment is very age specific," commented Mr. Ferguson.
Jerry Oldham, another local resident who had been actively involved with efforts to save the park, noted that members of the community have been donating their time to maintain the park, in an effort to promote cooperation with township parks staff.
"I'm very happy with what's been going on, and think we can work well with the parks department," added Ms. Oldham.
The park was originally developed by the Uxbridge Optimists Club in 1970, and has served several generations of Uxbridge children over the past 44 years.