Residents don’t want to trade green space for Sturgeon Heights Reservoir
A public hearing for the contentious replacement of the reservoir and pumping station is due to take place virtually on July 5.
Those who frequent Salisbury Park weighed in on the upcoming public hearing for the new Sturgeon Heights reservoir and pumping station.
Margaret DeCorby, who has lived near the park for 12 years, said she worries about losing the wide open space that makes the park special.
“This park is the heart of this area,” DeCorby said. “It’s organic; people always come into the park and interact. You have little kids at football, baseball, people walking their dogs and flying kites, parents teaching their kids how to do it. cycling, everything. “
She noted that preserving aspects of the park may not be sufficient to maintain the character of the park.
“It’s the space that is important,” DeCorby said. “It’s beyond football.”
DeCorby said she noticed a petition was placed on the sign outside the park detailing the town’s development plans. The petition has since been withdrawn, but DeCorby said it describes the concerns of those on Sonora Drive. These residents said that if the new tank is at 53 Salisbury Avenue – one of two lots the city is looking to rezon – after construction, they will be looking at a building instead of a field.
“I could see why they are upset,” DeCorby said.
The hearing will take place virtually on July 5. Those wishing to address council will have the opportunity to speak on a motion to remove the reserve designation from the two lots that span Salisbury Park to build the new facility. While the precise location has yet to be decided, the city administration said redefining the two lots would give the design team some leeway to choose the best location.
The current reservoir is located along Sunset Boulevard and Vital Grandin School. Built in 1957, the city declared the reservoir to be at the end of its useful life. The new design – which is expected to cost $ 720,000 – is to be built on adjacent land to meet demand requirements and maintain water pressure.
Construction is expected to begin in 2022, with the removal and remediation of the old reservoir slated for spring 2023. The city said the reservoir itself could be underground, meaning the land adjacent to the facility could be left open for another use, such as a soccer field.
Dan Lesniak says he goes to the park almost every day with his dog and his family. He said he noticed the petition as well, but doubted it could lead to action.
“You get the impression that no matter how many petitions are sent, these plans will continue to come true,” Lesniak said.
Like DeCorby, he said he was concerned about the changes construction could bring to the park, which he said promotes “a lot of community cohesion.”
“My wife and I have a group that we meet there. It’s a place of camaraderie,” he said.
After taking a look at the city’s concept drawings and hearing the arguments for replacing the reservoir, Lesniak said he understands why the project “has to happen now.” Currently, he said his main concern is whether the construction will be effective.
“The construction is going to take a long time for people, and now that this project could go ahead, people need to be reassured that the schedule is important,” Lesniak said.
He said he was unsure if he would attend the public hearing.
“I just accepted the fate of the park right now,” Lesniak said. “Everything has a reason, but now people have to live with it, and that is the hardest part.”