The City of Cornwall released the following statement Tuesday afternoon in regard to the outdoor rink on Monaco Crescent:
The City of Cornwall would like provide some clarification on the outdoor rink that has been established at a private residence on Monaco Crescent.
The City would like to stress that it has not instructed the homeowners to remove the ice rink but rather the boards that surround the ice. The City would also like to note that the homeowner never sought or received permission to install the rink boards in their present location.
The boards fall within the municipal right-of-way, which is in contravention of Section 4.6 of the City’s Streets By-law No. 56-2003. Municipal rights-of-way are preserved in order to protect underground utilities and to provide space for snow storage, among other things.
Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy met with City Administration prior to joining Councillor David Murphy at a meeting with the homeowners on Tuesday morning to discuss the matter further.
“The City has nothing against homeowners wishing to build an outdoor rink to provide sport and recreational opportunities for children. In fact, we think it’s a great thing,” said Mayor O’Shaughnessy. “But this is not about children. This is about public safety and working within the By-laws that are in place. If we allow an exception to the By-law in one place, what’s to say there won’t be other situations that arise?”
The City received a complaint about the structure and it has a duty to act on potential safety and liability concerns.
“When we are made aware of liabilities we have a responsibility to correct them,” added Mayor O’Shaughnessy. “The City is expecting to face a significant increase in insurance costs in 2015. As a City, we should be looking at reducing liability, not increasing it.”