Grey Highlands gave its approval in principle to the community plan to add a splashpad at the King Edward Park.
That support was needed, said residents Shannon Iadinardi and Carolyn Gott, to apply for grants and start fundraising. The project originally came before council in February.
With the support, the municipality will also accept donations and issue charitable donation receipts.
The report included an estimate of costs and potential funding received from the committee in mid-August.
Of the $300,000 project, the community would raise $50,000, and seek $150,000 in grants. The municipality would then be left to fund about $100,000, through reserve fund or Development Charges.
The municipality put in the proviso that until all the funding was secured, no money would be spent for capital costs. Going forward, council will first have to consider any requests for staff resources, including time, according to the motion.
Splash pads come in all shapes, sizes, colours – and price tags.
The plans for the splash pad are being developed, and two sites are being considered – one on the south side of the arena and one on the south side of the basketball court. The proposed size is 73 feet by 43 feet.
Staff met with Iadinardi and Gott at the park in June to discuss the project.
The staff report noted that many groups use the park for different purposes, so final siting will depend on how those conversations evolve.
The committee for the splash-pad is a sub-committee of the Markdale Recreation Committee.
Another major decision is in the water systems. The elements in the splash pad can use drinkable water that then drains into the sanitary system. That approach is called “pass-through” and is favoured by the committee.
The other “recirculating” type captures the water, treats and filters it and pumps it out again, using less water.
The staff report looked at the project in light of municipal needs, saying more recreational choices will be needed, with up to 850 new houses slated for construction, and that the rec master plan suggests the municipality consider splay/spray pads.
PARK MASTER PLANNING
Council endorsed including the cost of doing a master plan for King Edward Park in the 2024 budget.
Councillor Joel Lougheed said that the park needs a full review before the municipality puts money into it.
There are many users and potential users of the space. The municipality itself recently placed a bulk water fill station there.
The report noted that the Markdale library, also in the park, may be expanded. With the needs of Markdale Agricultural Society and other rec uses, present and future, staff recommended creating a Master Plan for the park.
The motion calling for the master plan did not contain any details.
Staff’s suggestion in the report was that work on the master plan would begin sometime in 2024, to be completed within a year.
The report said that although the splashpad committee was hoping the project would be complete in three years, it could be up to five years given the circumstances.
The plan creation would include community engagement, assessment of infrastructure, safety, future program needs, optimizing the space and recommendations from the master plan.
The splashpad committee also had asked for help writing grants, but staff said there are many other projects would could be asking for such help, and there is no grant-writer on staff, while the municipality itself needs to apply for grants.
The splashpad proposal came forward about three years ago, and an online petition at change.org has been signed by about 575 people.
M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Flesherton Advance