Arthur BMX/skatepark site approved

KENILWORTH – It looks like Arthur’s proposed BMX/skatepark has found a home.

On Feb. 27, Wellington North councillors agreed the best spot for the skatepark is on the grounds of the Arthur and Area Community Centre.

As proposed, the facility would be located between the two baseball diamonds, facing the Arthur Optimist Pavilion.

The item came up as councillors reviewed skatepark ad hoc advisory committee minutes which updated council on the process thus far.

Previous discussions at the committee level looked at the pros and cons of several locations on the Arthur community centre grounds.

Emergency access, expansion restrictions for existing recreational uses and the potential of vandalism were all discussed by committee members. They were also reminded the location is ultimately council’s decision.

In November 2017, the township was approached with the idea of installing a BMX/skateboard park for the 150th Anniversary of the Village of Arthur in 2022.

Councillor Lisa Hern said from discussing a previously reviewed location, near the end of Francis Street, it became apparent having the skatepark in a central location (the community centre) “made a whole lot of sense.”

Hern said the community centre is a great fit for parents with children of different ages, with the splashpad in one location and the skatepark nearby.

“We did talk to the Optimists and the Arthur Agricultural Society,” she added.

The location decided upon by the committee was a hit with the local Grade 6 class. Recreation coordinator Mandy Jones said students at Arthur Public School provided a lot of input.

“They thought this would be a great location – near the washrooms and pavilion for shade in the summer,” she said.

Mayor Andy Lennox said the Optimists voiced some concern over the potential of increased vandalism in the pavilion area as a result of increased traffic. Yet he added “no matter what location we choose, there will be a degree of dissatisfaction among various user groups.”

The input of potential users, particularly children, will heavily impact the decision, Lennox explained. He said additional young people in the area might actually stem vandalism in the area (if more people are watching).

Hern pointed out the Optimist club is fully supportive of the project, even if the community centre is not the preferred location for some of its members.

CAO Mike Givens noted another concern raised was the location of the skatepark between two ball diamonds. He said consideration will need to be given to extending the protective netting around the diamonds as a safety precaution.

With the location approved, signs can be placed and fundraising can begin.