With Huntsville’s budget subcommittee working on the 2018 draft budget, councillors had the opportunity to submit initiatives that they’d like to see included. Three were presented at the General Committee meeting on October 25.
Councillor Jonathan Wiebe would like to see some improvements made in River Mill Park, including four to six deciduous trees planted along Dara Howell Way, more Muskoka chairs, and some chain link fencing around the community garden which would help to keep animals out and would allow users to weed-whack the perimeter for a tidier look, he wrote in his initiative.
“I spent some time in River Mill Park this year as a tourist. I went to take a look at it with fresh eyes and just observe,” Wiebe told committee. “I think to demarcate the park (with trees) would be a small spend. It does lack shade and lacks that vegetation… The bandshell has quite nice shade and would be a lovely spot to sit and have lunch, it not being used on the average day. Maybe a few more Muskoka chairs scattered not just on the bandshell but around the park.”
Committee was amenable to those two suggestions, but when Wiebe mentioned chain link fencing for the community garden, he met with some opposition.
“I don’t think chain link fence looks nice anywhere,” said Mayor Scott Aitchison. “And I think it’s time for us to talk a little bit more about that community garden because I think in general it looks pretty awful. I understand the objective of what we’re trying to do with the community garden but I’m wondering if there’s not a better, more effective way than what exists there right now.”
Councillor Bob Stone agreed, suggesting that the garden might be better suited for a property like Muskoka Heritage Place.
Another new initiative came from Councillor Nancy Alcock, who suggested that the Town start planning for a municipality-wide revamp of its wayfinding signage. Council has been talking about it for several years, she noted, but the funds never make it into the budget. With committee’s recent discussion about signage for Lions Lookout, Alcock thought now would be a good time to start planning for more.
At the suggestion of staff, she is recommending that the Town start allocating dollars to a reserve “so that when we actually know what we are doing for a municipal-wide sign strategy, which we might be doing in partnership with the Chamber and BIA and others, we have some dollars set aside for a larger initiative.”
The final initiative presented at the meeting came from Councillor Jason FitzGerald who submitted some updates to the Port Sydney Community Hall kitchen for consideration, including replacing a dishwasher, sinks, island cupboards, and upper cabinets.
All three resolutions were to be forwarded to the budget subcommittee for consideration for 2018.
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