Spray park, amphitheatre for Wembley

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An underused park in Wembley will be rejuvenated this year thanks to more than $180,000 in provincial funding under the municipal stimulus program, said Noreen Zhang, town chief administrative officer.

Plans for Sunset Lake Park include a new spray park, amphitheatre and an improved gazebo at the park, after its campground closed permanently.

“There is a lot of potential for the park to be utilized a lot more,” Zhang said.

“Because of the aging infrastructure, the spray park is completely unusable and needs to be replaced, but the park was quite utilized before.

“The people around the community of Wembley can benefit from this project being completed as well.”

The spray park hasn’t been operational for approximately two years.

Additionally, the campground closed last spring due to the pandemic and Zhang said at council’s direction it will not re-open due to lack of use.

With Saskatoon Lake and Pipestone Creek nearby, the campground only drew two or three campers for a couple weeks at a time and it was “not financially viable,” she said.

In 2019 Sunset Lake Park had a deficit of $10,254, with revenue of $8,789, she said.

Re-purposing the space to serve locals fits the needs of the community better, Zhang said.

“We have a lot of young families who have little children and would like to have more for recreation,” she said.

Council applied for the municipal stimulus program funding last fall.

Costs aside from the $180,206 will come out of federal gas tax funds, she said.

The town applied for the gas tax funding and is awaiting final approval; she said she doesn’t anticipate issues with moving the project

Town staff are still consid- ering a design and materials for the amphitheatre before reaching a cost estimate, but that part of the project may cost $30- to $50,000, she added.

The parks and recreation department is taking the lead on the project.

The rejuvenation project is under the supervision of community services director Christina Ketchum, working closely with recreation co-ordinator Charmaine Baker, Zhang said.

Zhang said the town is aiming to begin work on the park rejuvenation in the spring or summer, for possible completion by the end of the year.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News