Pitman’s Bay proposals unveiled at meeting
HUNTSVILLE – The wait is over.
Colleen MacDonald, manager of parks and cemeteries for the Town of Huntsville, submitted a report to the public infrastructure and protective services committee on March 12, as this paper was going to press, that detailed redevelopment proposals for Pitman’s Bay Camp, an 83-acre town-owned property on the shore of Mary Lake that has fallen into decades of disrepair.
The committee meeting included a public portion to gather feedback from individuals and community groups on the proposals before submitting recommendations to councillors at next month’s committee meeting.
“If (councillors) decide at the committee meeting in April, I would hope to have a request for proposals out that week and we’ll try to get started in early May,” said MacDonald.
But she said councillors would ultimately decide what projects go forward and how quickly they begin.
The first phase of the revitalization, according to MacDonald’s report, will address road upgrades, the installation of a potable water supply, the construction of a new change room building, the reuse or reconstruction of the existing lodge building and an inspection of the septic system.
The cost of these projects ranges from the installation of a new septic system to service the lodge and washroom building for $11,000 to building a steel pavilion with an enclosed kitchen for $160,000.
All of the items are up for debate and not every item has to be chosen. The steel pavilion, for example, is one of six options to enhance the lodge building. Instead of replacing the lodge with a steel pavilion, councillors could opt to simply lift and reset the existing lodge for $35,000.
Residents have noted they do not want to see the lodge torn down because of its historical value. The building is the original dining lodge that was built in 1953 through extensive community involvement.
Each of the recommended projects came from the two public meetings the town had previously held. The 2nd Huntsville Scouts, the Rotary Club of Huntsville and long-time family user groups, among others, told town staff during those meetings what they would like to see at the site.
The report stated that future options for the property could include expanded programming, the installation of vault privies or outhouses for winter use, and more on-site parking.
The town has about $34,000 in reserves earmarked specifically for Pitman’s Bay. Those funds were accumulated through years of site rentals. The town also has a parkland reserve from which funds could be drawn to help pay for the project. That reserve had $249,995.13 in it as of March 5.
“But it is a reserve fund and we don’t like to drain it completely,” said MacDonald of the parkland reserve.
She said the town would be open to offers of assistance from community members, whether cash or in-kind, though at press time no partnerships had been solidified.