DAN CEARNS, The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: City of Kawartha Lakes council has changed its mind regarding a motion to start a project to convert Pleasant Point Park into “a multi-use park.”
At a Committee of the Whole meeting earlier this month, councillors approved a memorandum from Ward 6 Councillor Ron Ashmore, which directed city staff “to work with a citizens group in Pleasant Point to explore options to convert the present use of their park on Indian Trail to a multi-use park” and to have a report brought to council in the third quarter of this year. This report would have provided an update on these discussions and information on what further direction or funding staff needed from council for the project.
However, when the memorandum was brought forward for ratification at a council meeting on Tuesday, April 19th, some councillors had some concerns about the project’s cost. “Councillor Ashmore, when you spoke at Committee of the Whole, you quoted the costs as $150,000. This [new] memo you’ve supplied in our folders says $300,000. And I know our staff are saying that is not going to cover it, it’s probably going to be close to double [of] that,” Mayor Andy Letham said.
Councillor Ashmore responded, stating the projected costs he’s received from the citizen group have changed. “Eight [or] nine months ago, that was the figure they were looking at, $150,000,” he said.
Mayor Letham said in the city’s current financial situation, they “can’t even afford to finance what [they] have right now, [let alone] add new projects.”
Ward 8 Councillor Tracy Richardson was concerned about the project as well. “At this time, I too am struggling with the cost of this because I have gone through the same process with a similar group,” she said, noting a park project in Pontypool where she received an ambitious funding request and had to get a citizen group to reprioritize their goals towards smaller amenity projects for their park, rather than big pieces.
Instead of approving the project, councillors voted instead just to receive the memorandum.