Bell Park improvement pitch deemed pricey, but has 'vision'

The price to re-green a former hospital parking lot and reconfigure parking lots off of York Street in Sudbury to augment Bell Park could cost up to $25 million dollars, according to a report presented to city council.
Reconfiguring the parking lots off of York Street would be part of a plan to enhance Sudbury's Bell Park. (Google Street View)

The price to re-green a former hospital parking lot and reconfigure parking lots off of York Street in Sudbury to augment Bell Park could cost up to $25 million dollars, according to a report presented to city council.

The former General Hospital parking lot is still be using by Health Sciences North employees. The city has committed to holding off on any redevelopment until the hospital has solved its on-site parking crunch.

At a city council meeting Tuesday night, a consultant suggested turning the old hospital parking lot next to the park into formal gardens, with a lookout over Ramsey Lake. That part of the project is estimated to cost as much as $11 million.

The consultant said another $14 million could be spent re-routing Paris Street, so visitors can park their cars closer to the park.

Coun. Claude Berthiaume balked at the costs of such improvements.

"We're talking about the Sudbury arena, we're talking about putting a roof on the amphitheatre,” he said.

“[There are] so many things that we'd like to see. But I don't know where the money's going to come from."

Many other councillors raised eyebrows at the cost of the proposed project, but Coun. Dave Kilgour said that's no reason to forget about the ideas.

"I caution everybody to accept this as a vision for the future. If we don't have a dream and don't have something in our future to look at then we really got nothing."

The consultant's plan, which cost $16,000 to put together, will be considered during budget talks early next year.


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