Closer link suggested between town, regional park
March 13, 2017 8:11 am
Councillor Chris Davidson, who sits on the Moosomin and District Regional Park Authority, gave a presentation to Moosomin Town Council Wednesday in the hopes of having the town of Moosomin consider resuming its status as a participating municipality in the Moosomin and District Regional Park Authority with appointed board members—something it has not done since 2002.
Davidson gave a brief history of why the town decided to no longer be a participating municipality.
“In the early 1950s the town of Moosomin was instrumental in pursuing the development of a park on the newly formed PFRA reservoir which evolved from the construction of the PRFA damn in 1954 south of town,” said Davidson.
“In 1963 the Regional Park system in Saskatchewan was formed and the Town of Moosomin spearhead the process of having the park become one of the first of four regional parks in the province. It was at this time the park was renamed The Moosomin and District Regional Park. At that time the Town of Moosomin, the RM of Moosomin and the RM of Martin were named as the participating municipalities, as spelled out in the original Regional Parks Act and an order in council. The park ran smoothly as a regional park and continued to grow and develop into the park we know today.
“In May of 2000 the Walkerton Ontario drinking water tragedy occurred and there was much concern about local water supplies and municipal liability surrounding local water supplies.
“On November 13, 2002 the then council of the town of Moosomin, concerned about potential liability surrounding the water distribution system at the lake passed a motion that they ‘opt out of the Moosomin Regional Park and transfer title to property.’ From January 2003 to the present, the park has operated with only the RM of Moosomin and the RM of Martin appointing members to the Moosomin and District Regional Park Authority.
“Although the above motion was passed in 2002, the town never asked the province to remove the town from the original order in council at the provincial legislature. Therefore legally the town of Moosomin is still a participating municipality of the Moosomin and District Regional Park, along with the RMs of Moosomin and Martin.
“The Moosomin and District Regional Park’s water system is operated under a licence to operate a small waterworks issued by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. The Moosomin and District Regional Park’s waterworks operates under, and complies with, all requirements of that provincial licence to operate a small waterworks.”
Davidson pointed out that the park is a huge benefit to the town.
“A majority of park patrons purchase their groceries, gas, booze, etc from businesses in Moosomin,” he said.
“The park offers hiking trails, swimming, boating, picnic areas, camping and a host of other services to the residents of Moosomin and the surrounding region.
“The park has been financially self sufficient for many decades, requiring no financial support from the participating municipalities.
“I believe the Town of Moosomin should resume its status as a participating municipality in the Moosomin and District Regional Park Authority and start appointing board members once again.”
Davidson said he would like to see the town appoint two board members, along with the RMs of Martin and RMs of Moosomin, making for a board of six people.
Councillor Garry Towler asked if the town would be responsible for any expenses for the park if the town were to resume participation. Davidson said no, and pointed out that the park is totally self sufficient.
Councillor Murray Gray pointed out that the park is one of the main tourism draws in the area.
“We promote it like it is ours,” he said.
“It’s part of our community and part of our region and I don’t know why we wouldn’t be appointing board members like we used to be,” said Davidson.
Davidson suggested that council members take some time to think about it before making a decision.