Otter Lake RA grounds to get $3 million facelift, starting with a splash pad

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Le comité RA présente son chèque de 40 000 $ au maire Terry Lafleur pour le projet Splash Pad.

De gauche à droite : Yvonne Taylor, Tara Richard, Melia Presley, Shane Presley et Mayor Terry Lafleur.

Crystal Dubeau

OTTER LAKE – On May 13, dozens of community members, business owners and elected officials attended the unveiling of plans for upgrading 408 rue Tessier, a property purchased adjacent to the RA grounds, and the RA property.

The entire project, estimated to cost over $3 million, will be carried out over the next 5-10 years with the support of grants and fundraising, leaving the municipality with an approximate 10-25% contribution.

Plans are underway this season to add paved entrances and parking areas to the grounds as well as a much-anticipated splash pad, which has been a community fundraising initiative. The splash pad will cost between $140,000 and $150,000. The municipality received $104,000 through the MRC’s Regions and Rurality Fund (FFR), with the remainder raised by local organizations and events; the RA Committee presented a cheque for $40,000, and the Bumblebee Committee contributed $10,390. An $80,000 donation from a private benefactor and an $89,000 MRC revitalization grant will be put towards paving work.

Mayor Terry Lafleur stressed that nothing would have been possible without donations and volunteers. “The very ground we stand on was donated by the Independent Coal Company to the municipality for a recreation area. Donations and volunteers built the baseball field and the Raymond Johnston Centre and the tradition continues,” he commented.

A detailed sketch of other improvements to be made to the grounds was also presented; boat dock access, additional parking with butterfly gardens, a Wi-Fi patio, a new gazebo, new soccer fields, a pump track, vendor stalls along the walking trail for artisans, and a multi-use municipal building with potential to house the library, a museum, conference rooms and a CPE daycare.

The next fundraising project for the RA will be to replace the roof on the outdoor skating rink.