Council for the Town of Pincher Creek met on the evening of Monday, June 22. During the meeting citizen Al Erfle appeared as a delegation to express concern over the possibility of a new spray park being located at Central Park, in his neighborhood. The park is on the same block as Town Hall, between Police Avenue and St. John Avenue. Erfle said he was concerned about parking, policing, maintenance, and the dignity of the United Church located across the street during funerals. "All my neighbours don't want it," said Erfle. "What about our community?"
Mayor Don Anderberg said the proposed Central Park upgrades have been in the planning stages since 2008, and now the planning includes the proposed spray park. The Town recently applied for the Canada 150 grant where there is a possibility of federal funding of up to $500,000 for a public proposal. Anderberg said this plan was the only one advanced enough to apply for the grant in the short time frame allowed. Anderberg told Erfle that his concerns are being taken seriously, and added the spray park group "Is not a small group." The Spray Park Committee has been asking for input from the public for months including gathering input about locations, and have reported to administration the number one site is Central Park out of close to 30 considered.
Mayor Anderberg said his first concern with the proposed location is parking. "We have historically had an issue here."
"Why does it have to be here?" asked Erfle.
"I'm not against the spray park," said Erfle, who also said he would like to see the spray park located somewhere else in town. "If it was someone else's backyard, they wouldn't want it to be there." Erfle said Central Park did not have enough parking incorporated for the public need already. He listed the town hall and the daycare (on the same block), and the nearby high school as destinations that draw traffic and parking to the block in question.
Mayor Anderberg mentioned that there is currently a playground in Central Park.
Councillor Tammy Rubbelke said she had recently visited a spray park located at a mini mall. "It was not much bigger than this table" she said, explaining that a spray park does not have to have a large footprint. The citizen said he was concerned about all of the many proposed enhancements to the area shown in the grant application, of which the spray park was one aspect.
At a Tuesday, July 28 meeting council agreed to accept Erfle's presentation as information.
Related story: Pincher Creek community asked for letters of support for Central Park development grant process