Innisfil council pumps the brakes on BMX pump track project

·2 min read

Innisfil Beach Park will see a lot of improvements in the coming years, including outdoor fitness equipment that could be installed by summer 2021.

At the Oct. 28 meeting, Innisfil council gave staff the green light on an outdoor fitness equipment project as a sort of stopgap to provide new amenities while work on the Innisfil Beach Park Master Plan and other projects in the park continues.

“There’s a desire to have amenities that introduce healthy, safe and active opportunities for young people,” said Jessica Jenkins, capital engineering leader, referring to recent youth engagement done by the town.

In addition to the fitness equipment, town staff were also recommending council approve the construction of a BMX pump track, to be built in Innisfil Beach Park.

“The addition of the pump track at Innisfil Beach Park will help to fill these gaps and provide a much-needed amenity for the youth of our community,” Jenkins said.

Some members of council, however, questioned where the idea for a pump track came from and whether the park would be the best location for it, leading to a lengthy debate.

According to the town’s manager of land use planning, Mary Nordstrom, the pump track idea came from open houses and public engagement, and was included in the Innisfil Beach Park Master Plan vision that council approved in June.

“I have a big problem with putting all this stuff in the park,” Coun. Bill Van Berkel said, listing off some of the amenities proposed there. “By the time this is all done, there is no park.”

Coun. Donna Orsatti amended the motion to remove mention of the pump track, again questioning whether the park was the best location for it.

“I think it's disappointing that this council wouldn't be strong enough to say 'Let's build something great for the kids,'” Coun. Rob Nicols said. “Let's put it somewhere where they can get to it and let's build another one in Big Bay Point, let's build another one in Stroud.”

Ultimately, the amendment to remove the pump track from the motion passed.

According to the staff report, the total estimated cost for the outdoor fitness equipment is approximately $233,000.

Shane MacDonald, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance