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Funding could help revitalize Benson Park

Council is expected to approve an application under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program to help fund a $300,000 Benson Park Revitalization Project.

A report of the Community Development Department is to be received at Tuesday’s meeting at Shire Hall.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary the federal government late last week launched  funding opportunities focused on rejuvenation of existing community infrastructure. The deadline to apply is June 9. There is a funding requirement of 66.6 per cent of the project by the municipality over the next three years.

A staff review has determined the Benson Park project could meet funding criteria but must be endorsed by a resolution in council.

The Benson Park Project would leverage support from existing community groups working on refurbishing the tennis court for multi-purpose use, and also the partnership agreement with the Kinsmen Club on Benson Hall use. The Picton BIA and County’s Chamber of Commerce have identified a need for public accessible washrooms. It will also help access parking from Main Street to the new parking on King Street and has proximity to the Sir John A Macdonald sculpture to be unveiled on Canada Day. The walkway from Main to King could be named the Sir John A Macdonald Way.

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  1. Marnie says:

    Paul A., You are to be commended for the lovely floral plantings around The Victory. They add a lot to the streetscape.

  2. When the Naval Marine Archive bought “The Victory” from Canada Post, the laneway from Main Street to Benson Park was included in the proposed sale. Our due diligence found that ten feet of vehicular right-of-way was in fact sold to the town in the early 1940s — just that Canada Post had been “squatting”, using, maintaining, snowplowing, etc since 1896. Mayor Finnegan immediately proposed to conditionally donate or long term lease it to us. The Planning Dept. squashed that idea.

    So we sat down with the municipality for many a long meeting; our architect drew up some visually appealing proposals, with the participation and approval of other neighbours; in the end, the municipality said “nice ideas, but we’ve got no money.” Disappointing, but honest. So we went ahead, on our own, designed, financed and built our gardens. Public reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

    We are not certain when the flood wall (the drop-off and stairs) was built. It was there in the 1950s, and our architect found it challenging to incorporate the “accessible ramp”, but did come up with ideas that also saved the trees (the closest maple is in good health despite being most probably 100+ years old.)

    It would of course be “nice” for the municipality to clean up (and install some public toilets — you’d be surprised how tourists come in to the Naval Marine Archive asking for the bathroom!) The fact that the feds might come up with one third of the total, is rather like a local drugstore announcing “This month only, get $10 off your favourite Sham-Pooh-X, now only $20” — you still have to fork out the twenty bucks … and like other County tax payers, we are tempted to wonder whether a $.2 million tax hike is justified given our current finances.

  3. Paul says:

    Eastlink provides free airtime for communities and specifically for Council Meetings I’m not sure why this hasn’t been considered. Kinsmen use Eastlink Community Access for their TV Bingo

  4. Marnie says:

    Why do they always wait until these places are falling down before they get fired up to restore them? Routine maintenance through the years would have made the job less costly.

  5. lou says:

    Im kinda thinking , they should use the money elsewhere?
    I GUESS it needs to be fixed up

    IF they change the lay out etc. maybe it will be better
    and be OPEN to the street
    instead of Hidden

    for now, we dont go in there. as some experiences with people “hiding” , put it that way.
    maybei have gone the wrong times

  6. ADJ says:

    Regarding the recording of the Council meetings I think it could be a good idea as then the public will know who came up with these hairbrain schemes and then who to blame. Might make a councillor think twice about some of the extravagant spending he/she is entering into.Why can’t they admit it “we’re broke” and you are passing on the debt to the future taxpayer. There won’t be any bailouts by the Province, no handouts so bite the bullet and STOP the wasteful spending.
    But make no mistake,,the recording should be tendered first and not just handed to a local (ahem) business man.Do we still have AV classes at PECI? What about a project for credits for a group of students?

  7. JKB says:

    Here we go again, it looks like the municipality will have to come up close to 200,000, to complete this project (and what project comes in at the original cost quoted….I am sure I read in the paper that council were looking to what it would cost to have their meetings recorded,( I can’t imagine why, nothing seems to be decided at the meetings).

    If we could afford these projects, I am sure they would be great, but my understanding is we have no money….the tax payers cannot afford an increase in their taxes…

    I wish councillors would spend the tax payers money as they would their own….(and then again that may not be a good idea lol) I would like to do many renos to improve my property, but I must save the money first rather than going in debt…what if the county has a crisis, where would the money come from to pay for it

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