Leadership with the Central Community Club is taking action to address concerns in the area but they want to clear the air with the City of Kenora.
On November 29, Q104 and KenoraOnline spoke with Kenora resident Bailey Hall after she warned the community about drug use and garbage in the Central area, after a clients’ dog got into the mess over the weekend and needed an emergency visit to the vet. Thankfully, it’s okay.
When asked who is in charge of maintaining Central, Director of Corporate Services for the City of Kenora, Heather Pihulak, explained that it’s the contractor’s responsibility to keep the area clean during construction work, and asked residents to treat the new rink area with respect.
President of the Central Community Club, Tim Gosnell, took action yesterday morning to lock the player benches area to try to prevent this kind of thing from happening again, but says the city should be the ones responsible for the clean-up.
Gosnell explains that at one point, they had hoped to have an outdoor rink ready this winter, so Solid Construction released the rink area back under the city’s control and the site is no longer considered an active construction area.
“The active construction site is what is fenced, which is the building. The rest of it is a construction site, but it’s not active. That’s why it’s not fenced. The rink was released, hoping to have ice this year. Now, that’s not feasible to happen. The Community Club is ran by the club, but owned by the city.”
Solid Construction received the $1.3 million contract to revamp Central in February, which included a $70,000 donation towards the project. Best Way Rentals also donated the fencing around the area.
Other donations towards the project include $470,000 from the City of Kenora, $101,800 from the Central Community Board, $596,000 from the provincial and federal governments and a commitment from the Central Board to raise an additional $153,590 to cover extra costs.
Work on the eastern half of Central park continues, but there has been a slight change of plans regarding a potential concrete base and basketball area.
Gosnell explains that the project’s original plans called for a concrete base under the outdoor rink area which would have supported basketball action over the summer, but it just wasn’t feasible.
“It would have added a substantial amount more, and of course, the club is under budget restraints,” adds Gosnell. “We wanted it, but it wasn’t feasible to do that. But we are hoping to have different events there, and be able to use it as more of a multi-function club. Not just for ice.”
Elsewhere, the new-look Central area will include new outdoor rinks with new boards, a playground, beach volleyball areas, a bocce ball area and the new Central Community Club after the original 65-year-old building was torn down in 2018.
“The city did get new funding for a playground. That’s going to add a great area. There’s going to be volleyball over the summer, which will be our second rink in the winter. It will be a wonderful green space when it’s done. That’s what we’re all looking forward to,” he adds.
The project is still set to wrap up by next winter.