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PE Splash Pad image 2 560A concept drawing of the Port Elgin Splash Pad proposed at North Shore Park. The splash pad is expected to occupy 1.23 percent of the park.

Hub Staff

Councillor Neil Menage took to social media October 19 to further convey his support for the proposed North Shore Splash Pad as well as express concerns regarding misinformation following a heated Saugeen Shores Council meeting, October 11, in which he referred to a petition opposing the location as “‘NIMBY-ism’ (Not In My Back Yard),” adding that the petition process is flawed.”

See: North Shore Park discussion heated; public meeting approved

The North Shore Park location was approved in principle by Saugeen Shores Council June 13 and the petition, spearheaded by Friends of North Shore Park, opposing the location began to circulate soon after.

northshorepark 560A clearing in North Shore Park, the proposed location of the Port Elgin Splash Pad, the decision for which was deferred October 11 until a public meeting can be held to address concerns.

“This North Shore Park decision and project is but a splash in a lake full of issues,” said Menage in his Facebook post, adding, “Judge me however you wish but don't tell me I am wrong to make fact based decisions.”

The Port Elgin Ward councillor went on to say that his assessment is based on truth and “50 years of living here” and asks, “are we really having this fight as a defining moment?”

He commends the fundraising committee for raising 80 percent of the necessary funds, adding that the petition, “complete with errors”, is signed by people who can only say no, without another viable option, “to these amazing parents wanting only the best for their and our children.” Menage added that there has never been a better financial deal than this.

He then moves through “discussion points”, offering with each the perspective of petitioners, his thoughts and “staff or professional third party” comments, along with a score out of five for each point.

Parking, for example, Menage said that although he agrees that additional parking should be considered, he disagrees that there are boating parking lot issues “as many summer days photographed the area with less than a handful being used and places for 100”.

Regarding proximity to North Shore Road and safety concerns, Menage said that there has been a local children’s playground in existence for more than 20 years and that staff has “no reported/recorded incidents”.

The removal of trees has been a focus and Menage notes that there are only four trees expected to be removed for the construction of the splash pad with a greater number being replaced in exchange “to augment the ‘shady’ areas”.

The proximity to washrooms, Menage said was something that contributed to the North Shore Park decision. “Most other locations ruled out due to prohibitive additional costs.”

All told, Menage laid out 20 talking points, including community support, the total footprint of the project, Canada Geese, taxes, weather and the waterfront location; his scores for the project ranging from 3 out of 5 to 5 out of five, for a total score of 85 percent.

In an email to The Hub, Menage said his post reached 2,600 people in 24 hours.

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