THUNDER BAY – Mayor Hobbs and City Manager Tim Commisso had to step up to ensure that a long awaited splash pad in County Park gets open. The project was approved in 2010, construction started in 2011, and through 2012, delays mounted up and the project was seemingly left to languish.
Several weeks ago, as residents in County Park started raising their concerns to Mayor Hobbs, the pressure built to get the splash pad open. MacIntyre Ward Councillor Trevor Giertuga who is the representative for the ward has been unresponsive to requests for updates or information. That approach over recent weeks spread to other levels of senior managers at City Hall.
However today, there are work crews pushing very hard to get the new splash pad up and running for the youth to enjoy.
Mayor Hobbs stated today that the park will be open on July 5th. The pipes are now all connected. “We are thrilled to be able to open the Splash Pad in the County Park area just in time for the real start of summer for the kids,” said Hobbs. “The water feature will be a wonderful new recreation asset to the area and now makes Thunder Bay home to three fantastic Splash Pads.”
“The County Park Splash Pad is manufactured by Vortex and is divided into two ‘bays’, a concept developed by Vortex,” said Paul Fayrick, Manager – Parks, who initially refused to answer questions about how the project seemingly was lost in his department for over a year. “A bay is an area where the features are grouped to appeal to the various user age groups to help minimize potential conflict,” continued Fayrick.
Residents in the area have expressed frustration that the park was delayed for so long. It appears that for the most part, that the celebration on July 5th will now mark the opening of the splash pad, many residents would like a full investigation as to what happened, and how the city seemingly lost track of this project and a completion date.
The work is likely not over however, the sidewalk appears to have fresh cracks from some of the equipment being used to get the splash pad completed.
It is very likely that the youth in County Park have no idea who the City Manager is, and some might know who Mayor Hobbs is, but it has been through the efforts of Commisso and Hobbs that they will likely have hours of fun and coolness this summer.