“North Grenville's investment to modernize our recreational infrastructure is reflective of Council’s commitment to bringing more recreational options for our growing community,” emphasized Mayor Nancy Peckford.
“The addition of a refrigerated outdoor rink, splash pad and four-season washrooms and change rooms will ensure that families, youth and seniors are able to enjoy more opportunities for outdoor play and year-round recreation in what is effectively, North Grenville’s central park in downtown Kemptville,” added Mayor Peckford.
“Given that we were crowned Canada’s Most Active Community in 2021 and Ontario’s Most Active Community in 2022, parks and greenspaces are more popular than ever. These new recreational amenities will ensure a high quality of life for all residents in North Grenville,” said Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan and Parks, Recreation and Culture Liaison.
New Riverside Park Recreational Amenities will include:
- A 50 by 100 feet outdoor rink with a concrete base and boards. Elements will include ice refrigeration, provisions for a roof structure, and will be designed to support summer sports such as basketball, ball hockey, and special events.
- A wheelchair accessible splash pad with a variety of spray elements including a mega bucket soaker that will recycle water to reduce environmental impacts.
- A pool house addition that will support accessible washrooms and provide year-round outdoor access to other users of the park.
Council set aside 1.5 million dollars (75 percent from development charges, and 25 percent from reserves) over two years in 2021 and 2022 for the Riverside Park Project. Staff were also instructed to seek grants at the provincial and federal levels, and just under $500,000 was secured from a provincial grant early in 2022.
Further, based upon the momentum of North Grenville's remarkable achievement as Canada's Most Active Community in 2022, Enbridge came forward with another $50,000 for a shaded courtyard at Riverside given the recent loss of shade
As experienced by many municipalities across Ontario, the significant rise in inflation and supply chain issues had a significant impact on the overall project cost resulting in a revised project cost of $3.7 million.
Municipal staff reviewed options for reducing the scope of the project but noted that the short-term savings associated with eliminating certain elements or phasing it in over multiple years would significantly reduce, if not compromise, the establishment of fully functional four-season amenities.
Further, multi-year phasing of the project was regarded as a risk to the realization of the full scope of the project due to the potential for further inflationary impacts over the next 12 months.
Consequently, as per the recommendation by staff, Council unanimously has opted to proceed with plans for Riverside Park project as presented, alongside a financing plan that will leverage the use of development charges (revenue that North Grenville collects to support infrastructure investments required in a growing community such as ours), external grants and debt financing over 20 years.
The re-purposing of ‘retired’ debt in 2026 will ensure that an increase to the municipal tax rate is not required. Following a comprehensive discussion with staff, the tender was awarded to Brawn Construction LTD for the amount of $3.79 Million.
Neighbouring municipalities including Smith Falls, Prescott and Morrisburg have all established splash pads in recent years, and many maintain refrigerated outdoor rinks.
- In 2013, the Municipality of North Grenville developed a revitalization plan for North Grenville's Riverside Park.
- The Riverside Park recreational amenities identified were based on public engagement in the 2020 Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan.
- Riverside Park is North Grenville's oldest and largest park, centrally located in North Grenville's downtown core and hosts many of the community's major events, including Canada Day.
- North Grenville’s Council has also prioritized investments to improve parks in rural hamlets. The $100,000 that North Grenville won as part of the Grand Prize from the 2021 Participaction Community Better Challenge (for being crowned Canada’s Most Active Community) will bring upgraded recreation infrastructure in several rural hamlets including:
1. A new play structure at Crozier Park, Oxford Mills;
2. A new play structure at Oxford Station Park;
3. A new rink house at Bishops’ Mills Park;
4. An upgraded basketball court behind the Burritt’s Rapids Community Centre.
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