Bench re­quest sparks new pol­icy

The Daily Observer - - NEWS - STEPHEN UHLER SUh­

Pem­broke coun­cil­lors have given per­mis­sion for the Pem­broke Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety to in­stall a gran­ite bench and tree at the east end of the ma­rina.

This is done on the con­di­tion the so­ci­ety pays for and main­tains it at its own ex­pense, and that staff work out a pol­icy on the plac­ing of sim­i­lar mon­u­ments in the fu­ture.

At a re­cent re­cre­ation, cul­ture and tourism com­mit­tee meet­ing, Ron Con­roy, de­part­ment man­ager, said the de­part­ment is busy with a num­ber of on­go­ing items.

He said the hor­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety is seek­ing per­mis­sion to in­stall a gran­ite bench as well as a tree to com­mem­o­rate Canada 150 for 2017. The bench and tree would be placed at the east end of the Ma­rina park­ing lot in the grassed area along the Muskrat Lake.

Con­roy said the ex­act lo­ca­tion would be de­ter­mined with staff prior to com­menc­ing any work.

“The area in ques­tion is mostly grassed with an arch do­nated by the Ro­tary Club many years ago,” he said, point­ing out the hor­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety do­nates many vol­un­teer hours to beau­tify city parks as well as sup­plies all the nec­es­sary plants.

Con­roy said cur­rently the city does not have a pol­icy re­gard­ing this type of in­stal­la­tion and more of these re­quests are be­ing made. He sug­gested per­haps the com­mit­tee could con­sider this re­quest in prin­ci­ple and al­low staff to re­search what poli­cies other com­mu­ni­ties have with re­spect to this, then re­port back with a draft pol­icy for com­mit­tee to con­sider.

He said the hor­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety will be fully re­spon­si­ble for the pur­chas­ing and in­stal­la­tion of both the bench and tree.

Deputy Mayor Ron Ger­vais said he was in favour of cre­at­ing a pol­icy to deal with such re­quests. He said while he wasn’t against the idea of the group in­stalling the bench and tree, it shouldn’t be the re­spon­si­bil­ity of city ratepay­ers to pay for its up­keep or re­place­ment in case it is dam­aged.

Coun. Les Scott agreed, adding the stip­u­la­tion of this should be writ­ten out so all par­ties agree to the terms.

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