Site preparation well underway as spray park components arrive in Fort Frances

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

On Friday, July 28, members of the Make a Big Splash Spray Park Committee posted that the components for the park had arrived in Fort Frances this comes as the Lillie Avenue reconstruction is nearing completion and almost ready for paving.

Interim chief administrative officer and committee member Travis Rob says the project has come a long way and is in position to be mostly done before the end of August, short of a few aspects that could not be helped given the timing.

“We have all the underground work done for the new signals, so that’s new conduits put in the ground, the new bases are in, the servicing manholes are in,” Rob said.

Since speaking with Rob a lot of work has been completed on Lillie Ave. With curb and gutter along with the first layer of asphalt being completed.

“On the park side of things, we’ve got the sewer and water services installed for the new bathroom and the splash park and pump house,” Rob said. “We’ve done all that in preparation for the contractors to start constructing the splash pad. That is supposed to be happening starting August 10.”

With the parts for the splash pad delivered, Rob says he is working with the playground and bathroom suppliers to finalize delivery and install dates for those components as well.

Many of the components of the park upgrade require workers from the supplying companies to contribute to their installation. For instance, while a local plumber can do the rough work for the bathroom, a contractor from the supplier, Urben Blu, will come to town to complete the installation of their product. Playground equipment will be installed by town staff with oversight from the manufacturer to ensure specifications are met.

Rob says the hope is still to have the spray park open before the end of August so people can enjoy it for the last few weeks of the summer but there won’t be an official opening of the park.

“We had a meeting this week and a big discussion point for us was the grand opening,” Rob said. “At the meeting we decided to forego the grand opening this year. I have some material that’s not going to be here until mid September. It’s out of my control, it was ordered when we could afford to order it.”

The elements coming later are not central to the park renewal, but Rob says a spring grand opening will mean the park looks less like it was recently redone.

“We definitely want to have some First Nation engagement and have them be part of the celebration as well, so it’s going to give us some time to work with them on putting a program together,” Rob said. “It’s going to make for a nicer site, the grass is going to be growing, it’s not going to look like it’s a fresh construction site.”