The current batch of Kenora city councillors are hoping to get the ball rolling to eventually replace and install a new playground at the Coney Island beach.
In a Special Meeting of Council on October 25, Director of Community Services, Stace Gander, was seeking council’s approval to send in an application to the Enabling Accessibility Fund for up to $149,999 to support the development of a new accessible playground on Coney Island.
Gander explains that the application process requires a city commitment to move forward, and his proposal was seeking the approval of a $49,999 contribution towards the work – and the city would be responsible for any extra costs.
“This is a project that we would have identified in the 2025 Capital Plan,” says Gander. “We have the money sitting in reserves to leverage $50,000 to get $150,000. We didn’t want to lose the opportunity to have that $100,000 pass.”
Council approved the proposal unanimously, using funds through the city’s Accessibility Reserves.
“I think it’s a great idea. Let’s populate the beach,” added councillor Mort Goss, who earlier in the meeting, noted a shuttle to Coney Island for residents may be too costly to provide unless the beach starts to see more activity.
Chief Administrative Officer, Kyle Attanasio, notes a replacement of the playground has been recommended to the city. Gander adds that once it is replaced, in hopefully a two-year time frame if funding is approved, only Anicinabe Park’s playground will need to be replaced in the next few years.
“In a short number of years, we’ve been able to take these tired playgrounds and change them out with large amounts being funded through various bodies,” Gander explains.
The city is hoping to hear back on the funding application in the coming months.
City councillors Lindsay Koch, Lisa Moncrief, Graham Chaze, Bob Bernie, Barb Manson and Kelsie Van Belleghem joined Mayor Andrew Poirier for orientation meetings this week. The new batch of councillors will be sworn into their roles on November 15.