Council looks to protect park grounds

By Chad Ingram

The Municipality of Dysart et al will keep heavy equipment out of Head Lake Park in order to reduce damage to its surface as well as mitigate drainage issues.

Grass was ripped up and sprinklers were broken following events in the park this summer.

“I think as we saw with the wet weather this year and the continued damage that’s done to the park when we have the heavy equipment such as the [Rotary] carnival equipment or the RibFest … any of those types of equipment on our park it does damage to it” said Deputy Mayor Pat Kennedy during a Sept. 24 council meeting.

Kennedy who sits on the municipality’s equipment and infrastructure committee noted that at one time there was a sawmill where the park is now located and that when the park property was capped 40 years ago a bunch of sawdust and other materials was buried beneath the surface. As those materials decay they create absorbency and drainage issues compounded by heavy equipment on the grass.

“The recommendation was that immediately next year going forward that heavy equipment will not be permitted on the park surface” Kennedy told other members of council indicating that events such as the Rotary carnival could take place in the parking lot at Head Lake Park.

Kennedy noted that Hometown Hockey had set up its stages in the parking lot when the television production came to Haliburton in 2017.

“And it went extremely well” he said adding that a portion of York Street could also likely be shut down to accommodate the annual carnival.

“It was their mandate not to be on the grass” said Mayor Andrea Roberts of the Hometown Hockey production team. “They know the problems that can come with that.”

While events in the parking lot will mean less space for parking Roberts said there are alternatives.

“We had a medical centre parking lot that isn’t used in the evening” she said. “There’s alternatives . . . there’s parking here in the evening that is really just a couple of blocks away.”