Embarrassed by the state of Kinsmen Park, Coun. Lee Atkinson would like to have offered something better to those attending Aboriginal Day festivities.
© Herald file photo
Prince Albert resident Pat Boland stands next to a rotten-out bench at Kinsmen Park in August, 2012. Almost two years later and not much has changed at the park, although community services director Jody Boulet hopes to see things improve next year.
At Mondayâs city council meeting, Atkinson said that he was surprised to have seen the poor condition of the covered picnic areas over the weekend, where the cedar shakes are rotting under a blanket of moss.
âI was also disappointed in the stage that had plywood covering it that was in various stages of disintegrating and falling apart,â he said.
âQuite frankly I was a little bit embarrassed that we were using that stage in that kind of condition.â
After Mondayâs meeting, community services director Jody Boulet noted that there are âa number of things that are required at the park.â
Upon his ascension to the role of department head earlier this year, Boulet singled out Kinsmen Park as one of his first priorities.
The new director has already toured the park with area resident Pat Boland, who has long advocated for Kinsmen Parkâs renewal.
As such, Boulet said that he agrees with everything Atkinson had to say at Mondayâs meeting -- valid criticisms that he hopes to see resolved next year.
Although he would have liked to have made improvements earlier, the 2014 budget was prepared by his predecessor last November, meaning Bouletâs mark wonât be fully felt until the 2015 budget is put into motion next year.
Prior to city council budget deliberations, set to take place before the end of the year, the community services department will provide council with a report outlining what is needed at Kinsmen Park and what each item will cost.
Whether to follow through with Kinsmen Parkâs revitalization will be a budgetary decision up to the cityâs elected officials.
Boulet dedicated to parks
Since becoming community services director earlier this year, Jody Boulet has committed to improving the state of city parks.
"It's a unique asset that we have and I think it's a draw for our community, whether it's to live or visit, and I think that it requires the appropriate attention every year," he told the Herald earlier this year.
Following through on his commitment, Boulet created a city parks manager position -- a position created tax-neutral as a result of an internal shifting of staff.