Parks plan ‘living document,’ reeve says
By Chad Ingram
Some Minden Hills councillors are less than pleased with the township’s new parks and trails master plan, but the township’s reeve says the plan is a living document that can be added to.
Council received the plan, compiled by Orillia’s PlanbyDesign, at a committee-of-the-whole meeting earlier this month.
It recommends a number of new trails for the municipality, and assesses its major parks, with recommendations for each.
As she had at the committee-of-the-whole meeting, Councillor Pam Sayne expressed a number of concerns with the document during a Sept. 24 meeting of council.
“I would like to see this put back on the agenda,” Sayne said.
Among other changes, Sayne said she wanted to see a recommendation that the township sell Lutterworth Park – located near Moore Falls – removed from the report and that the park be scheduled for capital improvements.
Sayne said she’d received phone calls and emails regarding the report.
Previously, Sayne had criticized the plan for using a survey filled out by just 16 households as the basis for a number of statistics.
Community services director Mark Coleman told council last week that he’d like to put the plan back out to the public for feedback, returning with a report to council in 2016.
“I look at this as the beginning of the discussion,” said Reeve Brent Devolin, acknowledging there were problems with the plan.
Devolin said he saw the plan as a “living document,” which could be added to over time.
“We are probably not in a position to change the plan by the consultant,” said Councillor Jeanne Anthon.
A copy of the plan will be sent to the upper tier of the county as well as Minden Hills’s community services advisory committee, and Devolin encouraged Sayne to let the committee review the plan and then make recommendations to council.
“We’ve given a lot of power and authority to these committees,” Devolin said. “Trust your staff and the people you’ve put on these committees.”
The plan cost $45,000. Half of that came from the province’s Rural Economic Development Fund, with the remainder coming from a Haliburton County Development Corporation grant and about $12,000 from the township.