With just days before the deadline to apply for the federal government's community infrastructure fund, Thunder Bay city councillors have agreed on several projects to submit to the multi-million-dollar subsidy program.
But the decision didn’t come without some debate.
Councillor Iain Angus wanted playgrounds and splash pads for kids to be made a higher priority.
"Two playfield enhancements … sends a message that we are concerned with the kind of neighborhood recreation that we need to expand on in this community," Angus said, adding that he wanted to prioritize items for young people.
"We know that the government may cherry pick. They may decide to ignore our first four and pick the fifth one because that fits into what they want to do. But, I'd like to give them a bit more guidance from our perspective."
Councillor Ken Boshcoff said he would like to see better bike paths to benefit cross-town commuters.
"The bridge at McIntyre and some of these other things provide essentially very effective completion routes for biking in the trail system," he said.
Council approved the list created by administration — with trails coming in second on the city's priority list.
The deadline to submit the application is Aug. 24 and the work has to be completed by March 31, 2014. Only half the project costs are paid by federal government, with the balance coming from other sources.
The proposed community infrastructure projects
- $1.8 million to plant trees, re-pave the parking lot, improve the field, expand the concessions and sales area and build an accessible washroom at Delaney Arena and Fort William Stadium.
- $1.5 million for the trail system would add lights and build a new bridge over the McIntyre River to connect trails in River Terrace with George Burke Park and allow for extensions of trails from the Central River Terrace area to the Health Sciences Centre and LU.
- Make trail improvements in areas at Boulevard Lake, County Park, McVicar Creek, Lakehead University, Woodward Avenue and the Neebing River.
- $1.75 million to improve paths connecting Trowbridge Falls and Centennial Park, and create connections between the two parks, Trans Canada Trail and the proposed King Horn Trail to Nipigon.
- Make transit shelters more accessible and attractive.
- Spend $2 million to install two new splash pads and one covered multi-season rink/sports venue at the North End Recreation Centre and James Street play field.