In 2012 and 2013 the Meeting Place hosted community group meetings regarding potential needs and uses of lands surrounding the meeting place. One group, the Tobermory Youth Group requested a skate pad/multi use pad. Although the land at this location was available, there are some issues regarding drainage and lack of supporting facilities such as lighting, fencing, garbage collection and distance from downtown.
In the spring of 2013 council approved $25,000 towards a multi-use pad for skateboarding, scootering, etc.. and potentially used as an ice pad in the winter.
In the summer of 2013 the CAO met with the new owner of the Tobermory Lodge (now the Tobermory Resort, Inn and Suites) to discuss potential partnerships for recreational purposes. Items such as the indoor pool and the underutilized tennis courts were discussed.
Having three underutilized tennis courts in Tobermory (one at School Bell Park and two at the Tobermory Resort, Inn and Suites) coupled with trying to find a feasible way to create a multi-use skate park in Tobermory sparked the proposed idea of entering into an agreement to allow the general public to utilize the existing tennis courts at the Tobermory Resort and utilizing the existing paved surface at School Bell Park for the multi-use skate park.
This trial arrangement has many positives such as
1) Utilizing an existing paved surface for a skate park, allows the youth group to use funds for the purchase of portable skateboard equipment such as ramps, rails, etc.. instead of having to use $25,000 on building a new paved or concrete surface
2) The municipality can still provide recreation tennis to the general public at the Tobermory Resort
3) The school Bell Park location already has lighting, fencing, washrooms and waste collection in place
4) Has high visibility for safety reasons
5) Walkable location
6) Location at School Bell Park is on a trial basis, as all the skateboard equipment purchased is portable and can be relocated in the future if necessary
The Municipality acknowledges that there will be concerns as well, such as noise and loitering after hours. Municipal staff will work with the local police and the youth group to address any issues that may arise.
Bill Jones, CAO