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Yellowknife council to decide if float planes can use new waterfront park's dock

The City of Yellowknife is planning a new waterfront park in the city's Old Town area but whether the park's dock will be reserved for non-motorized watercraft users or opened up to float planes still remains to be seen.

Hank Koenen Park planned for Wiley Road in Old Town

One of two proposed layouts for Hank Koenen Park on Wiley Road in Yellowknife's Old Town area. (City of Yellowknife)

The City of Yellowknife is planning a new waterfront park in the city's Old Town area but whether the park's dock will be reserved for non-motorized watercraft users or opened up to float planes still remains to be seen.

City administrators unveiled the plan earlier this week for Hank Koenen Park on Wiley Road, about halfway between the Wildcat Cafe and Bullock's. The $150,000 plan calls for a boardwalk, Muskoka chairs, picnic tables, parking, bicycle racks and views of Back Bay.

It comes in response to public calls for more access to Yellowknife's lakes, the city says. But whether that access should also be extended to float plane pilots still needs to be decided by city council.

"I'm not really interested in seeing more commercial float plane dock space there," says Claudia Kraft, who lives near the proposed park and attended a public session on the project on Tuesday.

"I think it's appropriate for there to be some access for them. Ideally, that would be not in a place that's disturbing those of us that are in small non-motorized watercraft."

An online survey done by the city in the summer found that 62 per cent of respondents preferred a dock for non-motorized vessels rather than for float planes. 

The park will be named after Hank Koenen, a former local float plane operator who was also a pilot in the Second World War.

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