Harcourt Park is asking Dysart to consider some funding relief for the private organization.

The privatized park is asking Dysart et al to consider giving them some financial relief to offset their operating costs and the fact they need to replace a bridge that runs through the park.

President of Harcourt Park Inc, Greg Weeks, says the park covers 6,900 acres of land, and its members consist of cottagers, full-time residents, business owners and locally employed people. Weeks says the non-profit organization spends between $150,000 and $175,000 each year to maintain the roads of the park which is part of the reason for asking for relief.

The other reason they are looking for some financial help is a bridge that runs through the park is in need of a complete replacement before 2020. An expenditure that Weeks says will cost them $200,000 to $250,000. Weeks says they are not looking for direct funding but perhaps some relief on tipping fees or taxation etc.

Andrea Roberts, Mayor of Dysart et al, says this is an incredibly unique situation because a private entity is asking the municipality for funding relief. According to Weeks, the park’s governing body has some capital saved up but notes this kind of expense is very high and would deplete the capital they have saved. Weeks details in a presentation to council that the park maintains their own roads, maintain and manage brush recycling lowering the use of municipal landfills and offer programming to protect the environment.

Weekes explains that the park takes this bridge replacement very seriously because the bridge currently has a weight limit on it that means emergency vehicles need to divert around the bridge meaning extra time getting to a 911 call.

Roberts and the rest of the council decided the best course of action was to discuss funding relief as they do their budget deliberations in the new year.