Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Kitchissippi Ward Park Priority Spending Plan - Final

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Many of you may recall that over the course of 2017, we undertook a ward-wide consultation to discuss with the community how you’d like future Cash-In-Lieu of Parkland (CIL) funds spent. For those who are new to CIL funds, you can read more about them here, but in general, when a developer decides to build in our ward, they contribute CIL funds. Sixty percent (60%) of the funds are used within the individual ward, and forty percent (40%) of the funds are used for citywide purposes. 

These CIL funds can be used by the City Councillor towards park improvements. These improvements can include: buying land to build a whole new park, buying land to expand an existing park, buying new equipment for a park such as a play structure, swings, etc, repairing or replacing existing equipment, new or upgraded pathways, fences, garbage cans, or water connections, or building new or upgrading community recreation facilities like community centers or field houses. Since there is a high amount of development within Kitchissippi ward, our CIL funds are continually growing. Jeff wanted to ensure a clear path forward over the years so that we are working on saving up for the larger scale projects while also allocating funds towards any much-needed smaller projects. We also wanted to make sure that the CIL funds were being distributed across the ward, and that one area or park wasn't consistently receiving the bulk of the funds. 

In order to undertake this consultation, Jeff hired community engagement consultant and facilitator Wesley Petite. Over the course of many months, Wesley hosted ten in-person sessions across the community. Six sessions were in the evening, two sessions happened at the Parkdale Food Centre and two sessions happened in Grade 7 classes at Fisher Park School.

The sessions took participants through a round of exercises to determine their spending priorities. Further, Wesley and our office conducted multiple round of outreach surveys. We surveyed folks at the Parkdale Food Centre, the Forward Ave Family Shelter, and sent out 257 school surveys. The school surveys went to the majority of schools within our ward, and we received responses from students in Grades 3 to 10.

Throughout the consultation, Wesley assessed the feedback and, once concluded, analyzed the results. You can read Wesley's final report here, it's posted to the bottom of this blog post (Plan Your Parks). In the report, Wesley notes that participants expressed the preference for 77% to 87% of our CIL funds to be used towards specific and timely improvements in existing parks. There was also a consistent call for new parkland acquisition. Wesley further notes that the school age participants expressed a strong desire for more interesting play structures and more court and field spaces. Adult participants expressed a strong desire for updated field houses, performance space, shade space, multi-use courts, splash pads, and access to water and washrooms. Everyone advocated for clean and green parks, with accessible and safe surfaces beneath fun play equipment, as well as strong waste management, community gardens and tree preservation. 

Also consistently proposed were maintaining the natural beauty of parks, pathways, art, sculptures and fitness equipment. In Wesley's report, the major projects that came to the surface were: a skate park (anywhere in our ward), splash pads and pools, field house and field house repairs (specifically a new field house at Laroche Park which was proposed throughout the consultation), courts and winter use, play equipment, washrooms and water, shade, structure and staging, paving and resurfacing. In addition to determining the park priorities, Wesley also consulted on how the community would be comfortable saving up for these various projects. 

After Wesley produced his report, our office took all of the proposed suggestions and analyzed them further. Our goal was to first determine the rate in which we would save for the four spending envelopes. The four spending envelopes are: Major projects (saving at a rate of $0.470), Minor projects (saving at a rate of $0.350), Acquisition (saving at a rate of $0.095) and Contingency (saving at a rate of $0.085). Once the saving rate was determined, we analyzed all of the suggestions pulled from the top items for Major Projects and Minor Projects. We cross-referenced these suggestions with a few additional pieces of information, such as projects that are tentatively scheduled to receive lifecycle renewal, and already planned park improvement work to ensure we utilized any ability to collaborate, or to make sure we weren’t spending funds unnecessarily. Since a new field house at Laroche Park was consistently and overwhelming advocated for, and since there is a dedication from the Sens Foundation to also install a Sens rink at Laroche Park, it was determined that in order to accelerate this project, the field house will be funded fully first. Once those funds are secured, then we will begin to save concurrently for multiple projects. 

When determining the priority level for each item, many variables were weighed. For example, since the Major Projects are expensive and will therefore take longer to save up for and accomplish, we made sure not to place two multimillion dollar projects adjacent to each other on the list. Further, as previously mentioned, we were cognizant of future lifecycle renewal implementations and wanted to reflect when collaborations could occur. For example, Champlain Park is tentatively scheduled to receive some lifecycle renewals in 2020-2022, which is why it landed as Priority 5 on our list. The idea is that will give us enough time to save up the necessary funds so that both the lifecycle renewal projects and our CIL improvements can occur during the same construction season, which will reduce the amount of times we would have to temporarily close the park, as well as save general costs by utilizing existing contractors. We also staggered the various priority items so that they were geographically as diverse as possible, with no one area’s park receiving multiple priority improvements in a row. 

The priority list will be adhered to as much as possible, unless certain serendipitous opportunities arise. An example of such an opportunity would be if we added a water fountain in a park (Minor project – Priority 3) that was already undergoing some work such as lifecycle renewal, ahead of implementing fitness equipment along Byron Linear Park (Minor project – Priority 2). A similar situation may occur with Minor project – Priority 9 which is adding new trees where needed. If we have a harsh winter and a certain park loses a substantial amount of trees, and is also undergoing previously planned lifecycle renewal work, that would be an opportunity to accomplish that priority rather than waiting. 

The concept will be to ensure that this list is updated regularly so that folks can see how much we have in our CIL pot, and then how many funds are in each envelope, so future projects can be better anticipated. 

We would like to extend a big thank you to Wesley Petite for spearheading the consultation and for analyzing the results of the in-person sessions and surveys into a comprehensive report. We would also like to thank everyone who participated in the in-person sessions, and our always very engaged Community Associations. Further, a thank you should be extended to both the Parkdale Food Centre and the Forward Family Shelter for helping us organizing and facilitating in-person sessions. And a final thank you needs to go to all of the principals and teachers who helped distribute the school surveys to their students during class time. All of the information we received was extremely valuable and contributed greatly to the success of the document. 

Please review the Kitchissippi ward Park Priority Spending Plan and let us know if you have any questions or would like something clarified.


Posted May 11, 2018