I am writing in response to the article in the Wellington Advertiser “ New Ball Park in Arkell”. I find the management of the park spaces within the township disappointing to say the least. Council has $60K to throw at consultants to deem that we have too many diamonds and to send them back to the table to get a price to “ move” one. Absolutely ridiculous.
There is absolutely no excuse for the Township not funding the basketball court in full. It seems that every new project, the Township goes with their hand out to the Optimist club for financing. Yet we have funds still in the capital budget for Puslinch lake dredging association. If council would stop funding this private lake, in the first year we could have the basketball court built( The funding was reduced from 50k annually to 30k in 2016). After that first year we could put the $30k towards improvement to PUBLIC parks that are ACCESIBLE to every resident!!
I must remind you that Puslinch Lake might as well be called Bob’s lake or George Lake as it isn’t a lake for the residents of Puslinch. I spoke to the late Brad Whitcomb during the last election and he informed me that when the funding for the dredging began it was understood that a public access would be provided through GRCA land ( I have no knowledge of where this land is ). I read shortly after his death that the GRCA is not going to make access to the public through this land. Thus Puslinch lake will remain inaccessible to the public unless they pay a fee.
So we have an environment where council does not want to dedicate resources to PUBLIC lands and PARKS. In fact some on council want to use our green spaces as a funding resource. It is my understanding that a vacant lot in the Fox Run subdivision that was intended to be a park is being sold off for revenue. This is disgusting! You cannot get these parks back once sold.
Continuing with their new found revenue stream, I was informed Council had a quorum and discussed deeming the Morriston ball diamond as surplus to be sold for cash revenue to move the Aberfoyle diamond. The nerve of some individuals to treat the residents of Morriston as second class tax payers! I ask you Ken Roth and Dennis Lever what makes the residents of one part of the Township more entitled to parks than the other? I must remind you that the Township Received the park as a donation for free or next to nothing from the Men’s senior ball team. In hindsight there should have been a letter drawn up forcing the Township to agree to keep it as a park and never sell it ( who would ever think that this would transpire). Another alarming aspect of this near decision is how it came about. Yes legally there was a quorum but was it on the agenda? Was there proper minutes taken?? Seems like it was almost a “ fast one” over the public.
I had some conversations with Mattew Bulmer and his advice was to wait until the report came back on the cost of moving the Aberfoyle diamond before jeopardizing my credibility. I have a concern that if I wait until the report is submitted and there is a quorum that this devil deal of selling OUR parks will happen before we can voice or objections. The money the Lever administration has spent a on study of our recreation needs and costing would already cover half the cost of lighting upgrades at one diamond or more.
It is the belief that Puslinch has too many Ball Diamonds. That they are not being used enough for ball. Well the diamonds are not just used for ball, local kids play in them, locals walk their dogs, some play Bocci golf all summer on the weekends. So in fact the diamonds get plenty of use just not revenue generating use and obviously this is their sole concern.
I am contemplating preparing two petitions to take around to be signed. The first will be asking that all maintenance for parks within the township be fully funded through the capital budget annually. The second will be a mandate for Council to STOP selling our PUBLIC parks!!
I believe this letter along with the petitions are necessary due to the secretive manor of which the Morriston diamond was almost deemed surplus.
If you feel that greenspaces are important to your community then please write to Puslinch Council.