Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Councillor Cunningham hopes to see more money for community parks in 2019 Budget planning

What is now an abandoned lot on Frederick at one time hosted playground
equipment for the residents of the east side area, like many other locations
around the city, the equipment was removed over the course of the last twelve years

Councillor Cunningham brought a concern over the scarcity of play areas for children in the community to the Council table on Monday evening, seeking some guidance from city staff as to if there would be any money available to improve conditions at some neighbourhood parks.

Noting the success of the rebuilds of Mariner's Park and the McKay Street project, Mr. Cunningham noted that there are a number of other locations in the city that could use some attention, a task that he would like to see addressed by the next Council as they make their plans for the year ahead.

"What I've noticed is that we've got those two parks that are up and going, they are well used and everything along with the park on McBride across from the police station. But up around Westview school and that, that equipment is all run down or non existent now and that serves a rather large area and kids don't drive ... so it would be nice if we could get some playground equipment up in that area or in the future budgeting for something like that." -- Councillor Cunningham on the state of some of the city's park locations.

Over the course of the last decade or so, the city had for the most part decommissioned a number of small tot park locations across the city, leaving many areas with only the School yard play areas for their recreation areas.

At the time, in the midst of some tough financial times, the need for constant up keep of the property and concerns over the safety of some of the equipment in place were the main reasons given for the removal plans.

However, through the course of the  ten years since, few of the old tot parks have been brought back to life, leaving only playground equipment on SD52 property to be found outside of the recent major park renovation projects.

Funding for those playgrounds is found through provincial agreements with the School District and its Parent Action Committees at local schools.

At Monday's meeting Mayor Brain observed that the next Council would be launching its early budget process work in the late fall, suggesting that would be the best time for discussion on how the city may want to move on the topic of public park space in the community.

You can review Councillor Cunningham's concerns from the Video Archive page starting at the twelve minute mark.

For more items of note from Monday's Council session see our Council Timeline feature here.

A larger overview of Council discussions and issues is available from our Council Discussion page.

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