UXBRIDGE: In a cost-cutting move, councillors have decided to remove decorative fountains from local ponds.
Township manager of arena and parks Bob Ferguson noted in a report to council at their Monday, May 4 meeting that, in recent years, Council has expressed concerns with the operating and maintenance costs associated with running fountains placed in Elgin Pond, the Electric Light Pond and three of the township’s storm water management ponds.
“The fountains operate strictly as decorative pieces and do not provide any other benefit to the ponds functionality. These fountains operate during the day time hours which is peak hydro times resulting in higher operating costs,” Mr. Ferguson said in his report, adding that each pond’s fountain typically costs between $1,000 and $1,500 to operate over a four-month season.
“They’re nice to look at, but with the economy that we’re in, we simply can’t afford it,” explained Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor.
In response to in inquiry from Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger about the fountains having any effect on mosquitoes, Mr. Ferguson replied that he did not know of any impact the fountains had on reducing the instances of insects near local ponds.
In a separate matter, councillors voted to allow parks staff to apply to the Accessibility EAF Funding to see if money is available to help offset the cost in paving for Elgin Park.
Additional paving was to be done this spring, before rising costs forced the township to look for alternative funding under the grant. Mr. Ferguson added that the move will delay paving in Elgin Park until September, after the Fall Fair.