A recommendation to award a contract for a special needs playground costing $387,000 or thereabouts was listed.
It was not approved. It had not been before the Accessibility Advisory Committee. There was a question about adequacy of parking.
It's three years since the project was proposed.
Well now, the story about how it came about may interest some. Not least the timing.
It came forward in the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The original idea of tribute from this small community in Ontario, Canada was to rename a park. Possibly plant a rose garden with the assistance of the Aurora Horticulture Society.
Civic Gate on John West Parkway has high visibility and a cluster of multiple residential buildings
whose residents might well enjoy such an amenity within walking distance.
There was no budget for the project. No budget was required . No cost proposed.
It was a simple suitable tribute that could not possibly create controversy.
But simplicity could not be allowed. Councillor Pirrie proposed installation of a playground for special needs children.
No request from the community. No recommendation on priority from the Accessibilty Advisory Committee.No need for such a facility identified in the Master Recreation Plan. No development charge funding available for an identified need.
No work undertaken to determine numbers of potential users.
Town house neighbours were not happy to surrender use for the children of the small neighbourhood.
Estimated cost of such a facility was not far short of half a million dollars. A normal playground designed to meet the needs of all children costs $75,000.
Finally , three years later the contract was presented for award on Tuesday.
The Accessibility Committtee has still not been consulted. They have not determined the project is a priority ? Nor, I venture to suggest, has a budget been created by the committee for the project
Accessibility is the Statutary responsibility of the committee. An annual budget for the purpose is also required by law. The question of parking has not been planned . Disabled parking is larger than the norm.No numbers have been identified. The parking lot accommodates overflow from the town hall.
Councillor Thompson is concerned that the price might not hold if the award is delayed.
Three years ago the idea came out of the blue.
Like there was a sum of $400,000. sitting in town coffers crying out to be spent.