The future of Guindon Park was discussed during Monday’s (Nov. 9) Cornwall (Ontario) city council meeting — including some councilors’ willingness to create a city-owned campground within the park, according to the Standard-Freeholder.
“I’ve been sitting on this for nearly four years,” said Coun. Todd Bennett. “I know this has been kicking around for quite some time. Now is the time to take advantage of this beautiful space we have that is very much underused. More and more camping is becoming popular where you go.”
Bennett presented a motion to the council, asking the administration to prepare an in-depth report detailing just what would be needed to create such a campground, along with associated costs and other information. The motion was adopted by the majority of the council.
Bennett added that he wasn’t expecting the requested report to come back to elected officials within two months or be a budget item in the near future.
“I want a full complete report so that when it does come back to council next spring or next summer, then we might have enough information to put it on the following year’s budget, in 2022,” he said.
Developing the park would, according to Bennett, increase traffic within Cornwall and benefit local businesses.
“They (campers) will be spending money in our community and would even support our festivals,” he said. “This is a win-win all the way around. This campground in my opinion will be a profit maker.”
Bennett indicated that the profits made from the campground could then be used to fund other components of the Cornwall Waterfront Plan, which calls for millions of dollars to be invested.
“That way we wouldn’t always have to go to the taxpayer when we want something new,” he said. “We should be able to take the profits from this and put them in reserves.”
Coun. Eric Bergeron also supported the idea of a campground, saying that the initiative would create revenue for the city and that its creation would fit within the Cornwall Waterfront Plan.
“I think that we have the resources to do it,” he concluded.
Although Mark Boileau, the city’s General Manager of Economic Development told the council that he believed the initiative would lead to profits, he warned that a fair amount of investment would first be needed in order to transform the park.