Perth recommends closure of Last Duel Campground by a vote of 5-1
The Town of Perth is recommending that Last Duel Campground be closed in 2020.
Following two delegations last month, one advocating for keeping the campground open and one supporting the closure of the park and re-purposing it for recreation and public space, Director of Community Services Shannon Baillon met with campers to try to come up with a workable solution.
“After a full review and assessment….it is recommended that the campground operations cease in 2020 and the land be used as public space for residents and visitors to enjoy,” wrote Baillon in her report to council.
On October 22nd one of the campers, Dale Moore, came to council with ideas on keeping the campground open. He and a group of seasonal campers suggested re-configuring the campground to remove the sites along the river and build approximately 31 new sites in the central area, where the tent sites are located. The proposal was to eliminate transient camping and only allow seasonal campers, thereby reducing security concerns. The campers also proposed managing security by installing two locked gates managed by one of the campers.
However, Baillon points out there is no guarantee that this approach would solve the security issues at the park, plus there would still be a need for staff to enforce rules and regulation and maintain and manage the site. The campers’ suggestions also do not take into account the location of the campsite in the flood plain and that developing new sites and upgrading facilities may not even be feasible if Rideau Valley Conservation Authority raises objections over new construction in the flood plain.
The costs of installing security gates and developing 31 additional serviced sites is estimated at $185,000. Upgrading the washroom and laundry facilities and dumping station would add another $100,00 approximately.
“Given the projected payback period and the risks associated with the proposed investment, it is recommended that the campsites be removed, and other uses be considered for that area of the park that would benefit all Town residents,” said Baillon.
After receiving the report Committee voted 5-1 in favour of closing the campground. Councillor Leona Cameron voted against the recommendation.
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