The Rotary Sound Splash Pad Positive Support group wants to bring a 3500 square-foot splash pad facility to Waubuno Beach.
The group suggests Waubuno Beach is the prime location for this development. They say this location offers the best opportunity is that it is already an established park and beach area with change/washroom facilities, parking, central location, access to municipal water and sanitary water disposal, and situated along the fitness trail for added accessibility. Most importantly it will be FREE and INCLUSIVE for everyone of all ages and abilities.
It’s also easily accessible to those with limited and special abilities.
The group has worked hard fundraising and building partnerships with local service clubs such as Rotary, Kinsmen and Optimist Clubs of Parry Sound. So much so that Rotary Club has pledged $25000 and earned a namesake to the park.
Rotary Sound Splash Pad has heard strong opposition to not only the location but the project in general, stating that the money should be put towards the proposed pool and wellness centre. There has also been concern that the treated water from the splash pad will contaminate the waters of Georgian Bay and put the Blue Flag status of the beach in jeopardy. There have been comments that trees will be cut down to make way for the development.
Chris McDonald, Co-chair of Rotary Sound Splash Pad says this project has absolutely nothing to do with the proposed pool and wellness complex. He says the funding will come from completely different streams, and will be on a different timeline.
‘The pool is a ‘dream’ for many but not an immediate reality with a lot of pieces needing to fall into place for it to get off the ground. The splash pad is a reality and can be up and running in less than a year if the council and town staff work with us to get to the finish line. There has been considerable thought put into the design and water works to ensure there will be no impact to the shoreline or waters of Georgian Bay. It will use municipally treated water and wastewater will all be pumped to the treatment plant for dechlorination and sanitation. In addition, there is absolutely no plan to cut down any trees. The trees, in fact, will be a great asset offering shade relief for parents, grandparents and kids on hot sunny days,” McDonald said.
“We’ve been denied applying for Trillium grants, we’ve been denied applying for Canadian Tire Jumpstart grants we’ve been told to wait for due process and hope that operating costs and capital construction costs are approved in the budget. While we know that there are proper steps to take, without being able to try and secure some large funding streams, this will never get off the ground despite our best fundraising efforts. We can’t raise $250,000 as a grassroots movement until we are allowed to explore these options and have the town officially say ‘YES we will approve this project in the budget, go to work and get the funding needed, We have several business and individuals that are on the fence because there is no guarantee that this will happen,” he added
McDonald says that the council cannot approve the budget until the funds are in place, but we can’t get the funds in place until the project is approved.
“If this is not approved in the 2019 budget it will be a huge blow to our efforts, it will be extremely discouraging to our residents in support and we believe a town with an already low level of community pride, will sink even lower,” he adds.
The municipal budget deadline has not been confirmed as the Town is currently without a Director of Finance.
If you are in support of a splash pad at Waubuno beach you can sign their online petition here.