Splash pad for Riverdale will go ahead this year

Mayor Leslie O'Shaughnessy discusses the Riverdale splash pad proposal with Coun. Justin Towndale during budget talks Feb. 4, 2016. The city will be moving ahead with building the splash pad to replace the pool that was closed. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – It looks like the splash pad for Riverdale Park will be going ahead after a push from Coun. Justin Towndale for the city to follow through on a promise.

During budget talks Thursday at city hall, Towndale got his motion supported by Coun. Bernadette Clement, who had to step down from her position as chairman to endorse the proposal.

It passed 4-1 with Elaine MacDonald the lone dissenter. She thought the entire $325,000 project should have been added to the budget with no financing.

Towndale said the splash pad was promised by the previous council. It was also part of the city’s recreation master plan.

“We have to remember who this splash pad is for … this is for the kids,” a passionate Towndale added.

Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy says the dynamics of Riverdale have changed in recent years and there are more young children with families. “I think it’s a good use of public funds. If a promise was made, we should live up to that promise.”

Under Towndale’s proposal, the financing option for the $325,000 splash pad, would add $18,920 in financing costs. It would be paid off at $75,000 a year over the next five years.

“I think there’s a likelihood the project would be completed in 2016, whether or not it’s done the early part of the summer, it might not be done (then),” CFO Maureen Adams told the committee.

Budget chairwoman Bernadette Clement said she didn’t vote to close the pool but she was happy to see the splash pad moving ahead “sooner rather than later.”

Design and preparation of the area would happen first with construction later. At the very latest the splash pad would be online the spring of 2017.