Meaford council has heard the concerns of residents, and they have voted in favour of extending the commenting period for the draft once it is presented to council next month.
“We've all heard the concerns that a lot of our stakeholders have expressed about wishing they could have more time for commenting,” Councillor Harley Greenfield told council when presenting his motion. “We want to do this right, so let's give it the extra commenting time.”
In June of last year council approved the development of a master plan for Memorial Park.
The goal of the project will be to chart a course that would maximize the use of the park while also evaluating its current and future infrastructure needs. Master plans are not binding, but instead are guiding documents for future planning.
“Planning for Memorial Park & Campground, the municipality’s only campground, was identified as a priority in 2015 due to the unique use. A destination of families, camp groups, and hundreds of day users make the success of Memorial Park a critical park in the municipality’s system,” advised staff in a report to council in June of 2018. “Improvements to the RV sites as well as the creation of cottage rentals, seasonal sites and additional non or semi services sites should be reviewed within a park master plan including improvements by way of changes to the orientation and the addition of hookups and grading and levelling of existing sites. In addition to the camping improvements the plan should consider improvements to stormwater management, potential group camping areas, and review the need for added previous parking areas and an overall forestry management plan.”
Council budgeted $85,000 for the project, with an upset limit of $100,000.
Seventeen acres of the 32-acre park have been developed as a campground, which currently includes 121 tent-trailer campsites equipped with 30 amp hydro service as well as municipal water. Eighty-eight of the campsites are equipped with sewer services while a waste station is provided for trailer holding tanks. The staff report to council noted that a number of the sites have been enlarged over the past five years in order to accommodate larger modern recreational vehicles, and those larger campsites have proven popular with campers.
To pay for the development of a master plan council approved the postponement of the addition of new cabin sites as well as a waterfront campsite expansion project, both of which had been planned for this year.
A public meeting held on April 15 attracted more than 150 residents, many of whom have been submitting their comments on the Memorial Park master plan. Those who have requested more time to comment once the draft is presented to council will now have until September 23 to do so.