Council opted to stand by its decision on a site plan for Kovach Park.
At last Tuesday’s meeting, acting-Mayor Linda Nixon thanked the Southside Community Group for their input into the park plan.
However, she did not re-open discussion on the decision, which was made at the Feb. 24 meeting of council, even after several residents said it was made without proper neighbourhood consultation.
“I have taken into consideration all the input from the community group and other concerned citizens, as well as the recommendations by the many professionals charged with rendering their opinion on the Kovach Park site plan and this council remains committed to going ahead with site plan three,” Nixon said.
Two site plan options were presented to council at its Feb. 24 meeting. Site plan three placed the washroom on the south side of the walkway, while site plan four placed the washroom to the north side of the walkway, and moved the playground to the south side.
A staff report said it was $6,000 cheaper to have the washroom to the north of the walkway, but it would cost $10,000 to move the playground. The report said RCMP preferred site plan three from a public safety perspective.
Council voted to move forward with site plan three, however several members of the Southside Community Group wrote to council saying they preferred site plan four, and their opinions were mis-represented.
A special meeting of the Parks, Recreation & Culture Committee was held last Monday, Mar. 23, where a report outlining the process that led to site plan three being chosen was presented.
The matter was brought back to the council table on Tuesday, Mar. 24, where Nixon announced the final decision.
“When we have professional staff on our payroll and they come forward with a recommendation there’s a measurable difference, I go with safety first,” she said.
Josie Woodman, a member of the Southside group who attended the council meeting, said she felt like the group’s opinions were discounted.
“We’re always somehow on the wrong side. It’s really discouraging. We put a lot of time in,” she said.
She also expressed disappointment in the fact the decision was put in front of council without the group being notified and that they didn’t find out until it was revealed in the media.