Ingleside splash pad opening next week

In this May 2018, file photo, South Stormont Parks Director Kevin Amelotte and MPP Jim McDonell review drawings for the Ingleside splash pad. The splash pad is scheduled to open in a week. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LONG SAULT – Taxpayers in South Stormont ended up getting the best bang for their buck through a different process to build the Ingleside splash pad.

Roughly 2,500 local kids and tourists will also be enjoying it in about a week.

The township went with a different tendering method – setting a budget of $150,000 and having companies come up with the best design, which was reviewed and scored by township staff with input from the Ingleside Splash Pad Fundraising Committee.

Parks Director Kevin Amelotte told Cornwall Newswatch the winning bid from ABC Recreation of Paris, Ont. (near Brantford) came within $1,000 of the $150,000 limit. It has 15 water features and accessibility options.

“There was two very strong designs (in the ABC bid). It certainly wasn’t a unanimous decision at any stage of the review process. One seemed to have more accessibility options and also for smaller kids. So more features that were interactive at that kind of level of height. That’s what pushed it over the edge,” Amelotte said.

Amelotte said this if the fourth time they have sent out projects for bidding this way.

“We felt by putting it out this way here, that people knew the costs and knew that the design of the proposal was going to be very high on the list. So the amount of equipment they (the bidders) could supply us or the design of the overall park was going to make the difference in the bid. We know, we’ve seen improved bids because of that on the three of the four projects that we’ve done this.”

Speaking in late June, Amelotte said they were very confident they would reach $20,000 in a community fundraising campaign by now. In May, the township got a $70,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the splash pad.

Any extra money raised will go to other park amenities like picnic tables, benches or garbage cans.

This is the final step of redeveloping the Ingleside park.

The water is scheduled to being turned next week (Aug. 15).