City of Prince Rupert holding off on Mariner's Park upgrades

Prince Rupert city council will hold off on upgrades to Mariner's Park that the Prince Rupert Special Events Society say are needed to ensure the safety of festival-goers.

Engineering coordinator Richard Pucci outlined a project that includes installing additional power outlets behind the public washroom and along the walkway as well as an outlet for an electrical spider-board near the Tot Lot. The electrical upgrades would cost between $55,000 and $75,000 and, while requiring the park to be closed for six week and under construction for even longer, would improve the functionality and aesthetic appearance of the park.

Barb Gruber of the Prince Rupert Special Events Society said more than improving functionality, it would improve safety on the site for events like outdoor concerts and Canada Day celebrations.

“When we hold any festival or part of a festival at the park, we have chords running throughout the park and little red cones on them so the kids don't trip. It's not safe, that is what it boils down to,” said Gruber.

“When the first kid trips over a chord and breaks their arm, I wouldn't want to be in the city's shoes.”

While supportive of the idea, council said it was simply not possible to pay for the project given the tight budget that was recently passed.

“It's not something that could be done this year, but I would be interested in putting it into the budget for next year,” said Coun. Gina Garon.

“It's just not feasible for us to be having the conversation at this point,” added Coun. Judy Carlick-Pearson.

For her part, Gruber acknowledged it wasn't something that absolutely needed to be done in 2014.

“If we have to wait a year then we have to wait a year I guess,” she told council.

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