ROCKWOOD – Freshly planted trees, a rock climbing structure and taped-off pavilion were noticed by some families and dog walkers enjoying Rockmosa Park last weekend.
Though the improvements didn’t turn out as initially planned, the park is sporting a scattering of upgrades, including water and sanitary services, power for festivals and events, and about 60 new trees.
Guelph/Eramosa Township received $750,000 in federal funding in spring of last year, slated primarily for replacing the bathroom.
However, the bathroom still stands, and it doesn’t seem a new one will be built anytime soon.
The application for funding was based on tearing down the existing bathroom and building “a new fully accessible, gender-neutral public bathroom at Rockmosa Park with an adjoining pavilion area,” director of parks and recreation Robin Milne told council last year.
He said the existing building didn’t meet accessibility guidelines, and was showing its age with cracking in the structural block of the building walls – creating ongoing maintenance and safety concerns.
But after a cost estimate came in over budget, the plan pivoted in August to upgrading the water services and other park infrastructure instead.
Milne has since left his position with Guelph/Eramosa for a similar role in Waterloo.
Though a May 23 press release from the township states “the project is now complete,” the new pavilion was still enclosed by caution tape on May 27.
Guelph/Eramosa CAO Ian Roger said one of the contractors will be finishing some clean up in the park this week, and after, “most of the tape should disappear and everything should be pretty much good to go.”
The funding was part of the provided through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
Guelph and Wellington County were provided $2.6 million, including $1.46 million for the City of Guelph, $65,335 for the Town of Minto, $122,000 to the Town of Erin, and $208,600 to Centre Wellington. Each portion of funding was allotted for a specific project to enhance community outdoor spaces.
At Rockmosa Park, the new “outdoor pavilion will be a gathering spot for everyone in the Guelph/Eramosa area,” states Filomena Tassi, the minister responsible for the FedDev Ontario south, in a press release from Guelph/Eramosa Township.
“The commitment to provide accessible outdoor spaces will ensure the growth and prosperity of the community. Our government will continue to support projects that foster accessible spaces that enable communities to thrive.”
However, the bathroom continues to fall short of accessibility requirements.
When asked if there are still plans to build a new bathroom Roger said there are, “just like there’s plans for multi-use facility within our master plan, but not anything that’s a committed project right now.”