By Angelica Ingram
Nov. 22 2016
Plans for a new skate park in Haliburton were solidified on Nov. 21 when councillors heard the project would be getting an infusion of funds from the Haliburton Rotary Club.
Club members George Kadoke and Jerry Walker announced the club is willing to donate $25000 to the project which they are hoping will be matched by the municipality.
The project has been an ongoing item of discussion at the council table with councillors deciding to relocate it to the former ball diamond location and increase it from its current size of 2500 square feet.
“We don’t want to be involved in where it is. That’s up to you” said Walker.
Dysart Reeve Murray Fearrey said council was firmly committed to going ahead with the skate park and that it is currently in a consultation phase.
“We should have plans by December” said the reeve.
Fearrey said the municipality will definitely match the $25000 donation.
Rough plans for the new skate park include constructing a 6000-square-foot facility.
While initial costs for the project were coming in around the $100000 mark some councillors believe it will cost more in order for it to be done right.
“I think we need to spend between $150000 to $200000” said Councillor Walt McKechnie. “Let’s do this right and have something we can be proud of.”
To date close to $30000 has been raised by the Haliburton Junction Skate Park committee said Dysart recreation co-ordinator Andrea Mueller.
Council believed once a firm design was in place there would be no issue raising the necessary funds.
“I think knowing this community it shouldn’t be a problem raising $100000” said Kadoke.
Walker also announced Walker’s Home Hardware would commit $5000 to the project for which council was grateful.
Walker said he also hoped to see improvements to the parking area next to the arena also part of the skate park project as he saw the need for this as a downtown business owner.
Fearrey said the issues of drainage and parking would be addressed during the revitalization process.
Former Ward 2 councillor Derek Knowles was an advocate for the skate park asking council to commit to the project and invest in it.
Prior to his resignation announcement on Oct. 24 Knowles said he and his wife had a significant donation for the project however was adamant council move forward on it.
Mueller said there would be a spot at the new skate park to recognize those who have contributed to the project.
The representatives of Rotary said the money has been earmarked for the club’s fiscal year which ends in June 2017.