Staff assessing damage following events in Head Lake Park

By Chad Ingram

Published Sept. 3 2019

Grass in Head Lake Park was torn up and three of the park’s sprinklers crushed following a series of events that took place in the park in July and August.
Recreation program co-ordinator Andrea Mueller told Dysart et al councillors during an Aug. 27 meeting that an assessment of the park had revealed some damage to infrastructure.
“We did have three sprinklers that were crushed” Mueller said. “To pin that to one particular event is really challenging.”
As Mueller explained there have been a series of events in the park and while there is an attempt to do an assessment of the sprinklers between each that assessment must be done during the daytime and with no one around which can make it difficult.
There was not time for example to assess the sprinklers between the Rotary Carnival and Haliburton Ribfest which took place just days apart in early August.
“It’s a tricky spot to be in” Mueller said.

Organizations that use the park must leave a damage deposit with the municipality and Deputy Mayor Pat Kennedy asked if the municipality was still in possession of those damage deposits.
Mueller said they were.
“There were some major ruts there was some visual damage I could see” said Mayor Andrea Roberts who’d been in the park during Ribfest.
Councillor John Smith said he didn’t know why the municipality allowed Ribfest a loud and for-profit event to use the park in the first place.
“Unless the folks from Ribfest are going to write a cheque for $50000 or something like [that] why would we have them in town?” Smith said.

Mueller said she was already getting requests from organizers of various events to use the park again next year.
Roberts said the municipality would hold onto the damage deposits until the broken sprinklers were dealt with.
“We created this product of our success and now we have to rein it in a bit” she said of the now-frequent events that take place in Head Lake Park throughout the summer.
The municipality is working on the creation of a formal park use plan with new fee structure.