(Kirk Pennell/CBC - image credit)
The town of Stratford is releasing two potential designs for a new waterfront park and it wants the public's say on which one they like best.
The park will be where the sewage lagoon and treatment plant now sits, just west of the Hillsborough Bridge.
"It's the major entry point into the town," said Robert Hughes, chief administrative officer of Stratford.
"And we want people to feel like you're arriving, you know, in a beautiful community and we want the entrance to reflect that," Hughes told guest host Angela Walker on Mainstreet P.E.I.
After years of complaints about bad smells, the sewage lagoon is in the process of being decommissioned, and Stratford will pump its waste water to Charlottetown to be treated.
"Councils that I've worked with have always had a vision to beautify that site once that's over and turn it into a public space," said Hughes.
"And now we're finally getting to that point where we can do that."
The two potential park designs, created by Nova Scotia consulting firm Upland Planning and Design, will be posted online next week so that residents can offer their feedback.
Until then, Hughes isn't revealing many details.
"They've come up with one option that is more natural and one option that has more hardscaping," said Hughes.
"They say they certainly had, in their consultation, heard from residents that they'd like to see … as much naturalization of the space as possible. But they also heard people looking for things that would require hardscaping.
"So they're kind of presenting both ends of the spectrum."
Residents invited to give feedback on designs
Hughes said the town isn't sure yet of the final cost of the design and building of the park, or when it will be completed, but said he expects it to take more than two years.
During the next public consultation period, residents will be able to give feedback by adding comments to the online map of the park designs, in a process called social pinpointing that was used to gather feedback on previous Stratford waterfront consultations. They can also send feedback in an email.
"The community seems really engaged in the effort, so we loved to see that," said Hughes.
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