The City of Charlottetown is going to spend $15,000 to expand the north end of the floating dock at Victoria Park.
That’s on top of the $25,000 it had already planned on spending to make parts of the structure wider.
City council voted 4-3 at a special meeting recently to approve the $15,000 expenditure. This expansion will essentially turn the north end into a T-formation so more people can assemble on the furthest point out.
Coun. Mitchell Tweel, chairman of parks and recreation, moved the resolution, explaining that the $15,000 does not represent an increase in the department’s budget.
That money is being reallocated from a ball field project where it wasn’t needed.
“I can tell you that there is a lot of excitement with the floating dock," Tweel said. “People are looking for the expansion. This would give us another feature for that venue. I would say it gives us an option to artists who would like to go down and paint pictures."
The city purchased the structure last year for $55,000.
The $15,000 expenditure was first vetted and turned down by the finance committee.
At a glance
Following is additional information on the floating docks in Charlottetown:
- Floating dock at yacht club was purchased for $60,000. The one at Victoria Park was $55,000.
- The city agreed to spend $25,000 this year to widen it.
- Council agreed to spend $15,000 to expand the north end of the dock. This money was already in the parks and recreation budget.
- It costs the city $13,000 each year to pay for installation and disassembly of the two floating docks.
- Here is how council voted on the $15,000 expenditure: Councillors Mitchell Tweel, Alanna Jankov, Terry MacLeod and Bob Doiron in favour; councillors Terry Bernard, Mike Duffy and Kevin Ramsay were opposed; councillors Greg Rivard, Jason Coady and Julie McCabe were absent.
Coun. Terry Bernard, chairman of the standing committee on finance, said the city isn’t sending a good message to the public.
“Especially this year with COVID, we have a lot of businesses downtown struggling to survive,’’ Bernard said.
“The question here is there is a project within parks and recreation (for money) they’re not using. There are other projects that are still on the books to be done, so it’s not like it’s extra money. Right now, the dock is wide; it’s safe; we’ve added another $25,000 to it so, to me, it ends up becoming a want and not a need.’’
Tweel pointed out to Bernard that reallocating funds to different projects isn’t new. Tweel cited the outdoor rink he supported in Bernard’s ward as an example.
Tweel said this latest expansion gives people an opportunity to spread out.
Bernard said the city is down about $1 million in revenue due to the effects of the pandemic and shouldn’t be spending money on things that aren’t of an immediate need.
Coun. Mike Duffy agreed with Bernard, saying the city is closing in on spending $100,000 on this project since the floating dock was purchased.
“I find it hard to reconcile that amount of money into something that barely has the overall approval of the population,’’ Duffy said.
Coun. Alanna Jankov, who seconded the resolution and represents the area, said not only would making the dock bigger be better for visitors to the park but would also make things easier for those who have some form of disability.