Zurakowski Park looking to expand

BARRY’S BAY – The heritage parks and recreation committee met as scheduled on November 29.

The Zurakowski Park Committee (ZPC) brought forward the addition of three items to the park, which include a climb-on airplane for the children, a 1/6 model of the Mercury Aeroplane and a pay-per-view video of the Avro Arrow’s first flight.

The money received from the video will be donated to the St. Francis Memorial Hospital, as it was originally planned.
During the last ZPC meeting, members discussed how it was not currently in the funds to begin these projects; however they are still in the books.
The purpose of the ZPC attending the meeting was due to the confusion surrounding two cheques made payable to the caboose committee and SFMH.
“I believe that is why we are here,” Mary Rose Dawes, chair of the committee, said. “Originally, Mr. Zurakowski asked that any extra monies be given to the hospital. We decided at that time to write a cheque to the hospital for $1,000.”
The cheque to the caboose committee was surrounding the money they owed them for their help with the Heritage Cup.
“I will reinforce that the cheque we wrote to the caboose committee was not a donation, it was for the services rendered for us on our behalf,” Dawes said. “Now that you understand exactly why those cheques were written, that you will recommend to council that the cheques move forward as soon as possible… We would like to see this matter settled.”
The cheques were stopped due to a misprint on the statement that was sent to council.
“We didn’t realize that it was actually for services rendered,” Linda Neuman said.
Council held the cheques, and sent a letter to the ZPC stating that they have withheld the payments due to some concerns.
Dawes stated that she would have preferred if council would have contacted the committee about the issue instead of dealing with it the way they had.
“It would have been nice had any question been referred back to us quickly, but that’s the past,” Dawes said.
Neuman explained that the reason they dealt with it in the manner they did was due to the reason that council did have questions concerning the donations.
Committtee member Bob Kulas asked that Dawes discuss with the ZPC where they would like to put these three projects, considering they have been discussing a sidewalk along Kelly Street, and possibly even through the park in order to, “direct traffic”.
Council is also hoping to construct a retaining wall in order to prevent snowmobilers from cutting across the park in any way.
“The reason for the walkway is?” Dawes asked Kulas.
“In the wintertime the skidoos will be travelling a lot here,” Kulas said. “You never know if the skidoos are shooting across…perhaps this is the safest route for the public.”
The retaining wall will prevent the snowmobile drivers from using the park as a short cut.
The decision was made by council to move the cheques forward and honour them as they are written.
The ZPC is going to be fundraising in order to work towards finishing the three proposed projects.
“We are good fundraisers,” Dawes said.
David Kelley was present to discuss the 15 plaques that the heritage committee wishes to install next year.
The last three plaques were unveiled on November 28, which completes the 10 scheduled for this year.
The visitor information centre will be giving out a booklet with a map and information on the heritage walk starting the summer of 2013.
“Next summer, we hope to have some form of a document that people at the info centre can get, and take copies of it, with more information,” David explained.
One issue concerning the current 10 plaques is the amount of moisture that is making its way between the lexan.
David is looking into a better way to seal the plaques.
“We are going to have to do something,” David said.
He asked the committee if they would agree to put up 15 more plaques next year, with 10 more to be added to the ones already in Barry’s Bay, and five in Combermere.
“I am here today to ask this committee to recommend that we proceed ahead with an additional 10 for next year,” David said.
Kulas asked if an addition will be made to the list of plaques up and coming.
“That was just one that came to my mind, and I am thinking, gosh, that was a historical place,” Kulas said.
“I have also included today, the Combermere walking tour,” David said. “If it is agreeable, I would be more then happy to purchase another five for Wilno, to make it all inclusive.”
David has managed to make a deal with the company involved with the lexan, and they have agreed that if enough material for 15 plaques is purchased, they will save money.
“Assuming that we do all 15 at a time,” he added. “It’s the purchase of the lexan that makes a difference, and the same with the steel. If the committee agrees, and votes on all 15, we can save a lot of money.”
David is hoping to place plaques in Combermere as well as other historical surrounding areas in order to span the heritage walk across the Valley.
“I think this project is very, very worthwhile,” committee member David Shulist said, who put a motion in order to place the project under budget consideration.
In order for the comittee to receive the deal from the lexan manufacturers, they are required to place an order within the next 30 days. According to CAO Bryan Brown, it needs discussion and will not be making the 30-day mark.
Chairman Sylvie Yantha recommended looking into the heritage, parks and recreation budget that remains for this year, in order to just purchase the lexan required.
“We have committed to this,” Neuman said. “So therefore, we want to get the best price that we can.”
The committee decided to let it go to the budget for consideration.
This means the committee will miss the opportunity with the manufacturers of the lexan product, but it is a price they are willing to pay.
“The price could fluctuate up or down. It is not going to fluctuate an awful lot,” Brown said.

Story continues in the December 5, 2012 issue of The Valley Gazette.