Public park, private funds

The KLO Neighbourhood Association is frustrated with the lack of any construction on a waterfront park in the South Pandosy area.

A development plan for what is known as Pandosy Waterfront Park along Abbott Street and Cedar Avenue was put in place several years ago.

However, the city does not have the funds to develop the park. About $2.2 million of the anticipated $6.7 million cost of developing the park has been put aside, but construction is not earmarked until 2026-2027.

Enter the KLO Neighbourhood Association.

"They are eager to get started," said parks and buildings planning manager Robert Parlane.

"They see it as a valuable asset to the neighbourhood and the community.

In order to get construction moving, Parlane says the association approached the city with a plan to raise $1.7 million.

"It is proposed they would fundraise 100 per cent of the capital cost for construction.

"The city contribution would be additional years of operation and maintenance. We are adding about $30,000 for each additional year.

The $1.7 million would include demolition of seven waterfront properties.

If the entire amount can't be raised, a fallback plan has been developed which would include the demolition of just four of the seven homes.

Cost of Plan B is slightly under $1 million.

Coun. Gail Given did voice concerns over the level of control a private group could have over a public project.

Parlane said they would restrict the association's control through a memorandum of understanding. He said the city does not want to deviate from the overall master plan for the park.

"I think it's a very creative approach," said Coun. Luke Stack.

"One thing we all know is we have a tremendous deficit in resources to develop our park lands. And, I like the backup plan.

"Either way, there is a chance we could start moving forward."

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