Company pitches Central Park partnership 0
COLLINGWOOD — A company that specializes in green energy projects has pitched its services to help the town build a multi-use facility.
But whether the offer from Ameresco — an American firm with a Canadian subsidiary — will be heard in time before council makes its decision on the future of Central Park remains to be seen.
Councillors were scheduled to deliberate on recommendations for the project — a proposed $35-million endeavour that would include a double ice rink tied into the existing curling club and YMCA, which itself would see a new six-lane, 25-metre pool — on Monday night. The proposal would also see the three ball diamonds at Central Park moved to an undertermined location. The results of those deliberations were not known prior to the Enterprise-Bulletin’s presstime.
(For the latest on council’s decisions, go to our website at www.theenterprisebulletin.com.)
Several councillors have signalled they are uncomfortable with the associated pricetag for the project, which is based on the recommendations of a committee tasked with examining the town’s needs for more ice time and competitive swimming.
The committee’s proposal would also see the development of community space at the site, creating what committee co-chair Brian Saunderson has referred to several times in presentations as a “vibrant central hub.”
Saunderson and the committee’s other co-chair, Claire Tucker-Reid, along with parks, recreation and culture advisory committee chair Penny Skelton, were also scheduled to make a deputation to council Monday.
According to the letter from Ameresco vice-president and chief operating officer, Anthony DaSilva, the company met with Mayor Sandra Cooper, Deputy-mayor Rick Lloyd, councillors Keith Hull and Dale West, and acting CAO Ed Houghton and PRC director Marta Proctor in April to present the company’s concept for the park.
DaSilva’s letter also indicated Ameresco representatives reviewed “elements that have created roadblocks to the project proceeding,” including its scope of work, and financing.
“As we expressed in our presentation, the town... would best be served by a team that could provide a comprehensive scope of services while operating as a partner to gude the project through the numerous decisions and processes,” DaSilva wrote. “The integration of this partner into the town’s team will allow the town to continue to shape the project even while the implementation phase has started.”
Ameresco’s Canadian website boasts its work with other municipalities, such as Vancouver, London, Oshawa and Toronto; for the most part, the company works with municipalities — among other clients — to retrofit buildings, along with asset planning, energy and capital solutions. In 2008, Ameresco worked with a school board in the Sudbury area to build a school that incorporated solar panels and wind turbines into its design.
In his letter, DaSilva also pointed out his company could also provide input on the future uses of the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena.
Should Collingwood council stick with the multi-use plan for Central Park presented by the committee?