The Bootsma/Lentz families would like to have a bench put at the site of their former cabin at Canoe Beach.
The cabin was one of 28 on city-owned land along the waterfront. Lessees were reportedly given five year’s notice in 2016 to vacate the lease land as the city has had plans to develop the area into a public park.
The Bootsma/Lentz families asked in an April 6 letter that a bench be located at the site of their former cabin #5 in memory of their father and mother, Marty and Margaret Bootsma.
“We thought this would be an ideal place to have a bench, as our parents, ourselves, their grandchildren, friends and extended family have had over 35 years of memories at this location.”
At council’s April 25 meeting, Coun. Sylvia Lindgren asked if the request should be deferred, given that the city is planning a development where the cabins used to be.
Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, described plans so far.
“We will be initiating the demolition of the cabins this year. The following year staff will be presenting a budget to improve some of that area.”
He said it would be a phased development.
“We would like to develop the road in 2023, and put in potentially some picnic areas. However the grass in that area will be natural, it won’t be groomed. That will definitely take some time as it will be quite costly to develop that area. We would like to open it up in 2023 for general public use at that point,” Niewenhuizen continued.
He agreed with Lindgren’s suggestion to reach out to the Bootsma and Lentz families about postponing the bench until the city has a more developed plan.
Mayor Alan Harrison also agreed.
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