Positive Community Park Meeting puts us another step closer to a community park
Approximately 40 or 50 residents attended the community park meeting at Ballantrae Community Centre on Thursday July 22nd. The Town was represented by Andrew McNeely -Planning, Robert Raycroft- Liesure Services and our Councillor Phil Bannon. We were hoping to have a copy of Mr Mcneely’s presentation for the web site but as yet it hasn’t been provided so here is a synopsis of the presentation.
The Coultice Estate property, known locally as the Wagon Wheel ranch property, is 170 acres in total. 137 acres will be acquired and put under the stewardship of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. This property has significant wetland and wooded areas and contains unique and in some cases endangered flora and fauna. The plan is to restore and enhance key heritage areas, build hiking and biking trails to various vantage points where the public will be educated on some of the areas unique features and plants. This is just an amazing opportunity for the area residents.
Five acres will be acquired by the Town for the Community Park proper. This area will contain the usual play area of swings and slides etc. There will be a toboggan hill, a picnic shelter and an unorganized area suitable for pick up sports events such as baseball, football and soccer.
There will be Parking spaces for 10-14 cars and no washroom facilities. This is to encourage use by local residents rather than day trippers out of the city.
This park will be named “Coultice” Park at the request of the Coultice Estate without whose generous donation the Park simply would not happen.
Another idea put forth is to create a “Community Safety Zone” around the park entrance way to slow down traffic. This allows the Police to double the speeding fines in this area.
THE MILESTONES OF THE DEAL
August 17th – Council Meeting to decide whether to proceed with the Park
August 19th- Town deadline to indicate to the Coultice Estate that the Town wishes to proceed with the offer.
Fall 2010 /Winter 2011- Park Consultation with focus on design of the park and preparation of project budget and planning schedule.
January 2011- Depending on positive negotiations between Revenue Canada and the Coultice Estates and assuming a price for the sizeable donation is acceptable to both parties the Coultice Estate must decide whether to proceed.
Spring 2011- Site Preparation begins
The budget for this park has been set at $1,000,000 but funds are not to be spent all in one year.
Mr. McNeely indicated at the end of the meeting based on the positive reaction of the residents that he would be recommending to council on August 17th that they proceed with the park. We would like many residents to attend this Council meeting as a show of support to Mr. McNeely who has come up with a terrific plan for our Community Park and to our Councillor Phil Bannon who for many years has kept this Community Park “on the radar” with Mayor and Council. To these two gentlemen we really owe a debt of gratitude.