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Retention pond plan takes out 1/3 of park

The City of Guelph – always at the forefront of cost savings and noxious odour control – is proposing a huge, unsightly, expensive storm sewer retention pond smack in the middle of Green Meadows Park on the northeast side of the city.
This is an utterly inappropriate use of established parkland. It will consume fully one-third of the park, displacing the children’s play structures currently there, while offering no recreational opportunities itself – just a huge fenced-off compound accessible only to geese (and unsupervised adolescents).
It will breed mosquitos, with all of the attendant health risks to neighbours, including the students at John F. Ross high school and the soccer and baseball teams using the fields immediately adjacent.
It will, assuredly, stink, with periodic algae blooms compounding the problem.
This is the most expensive of all storm water management practices, both in initial costs for installation and in ongoing maintenance costs.
It fails to consider the land value of the irreplaceable lost parkland. It poses a significant risk of backwash and flooding to neighbouring homes in heavier than anticipated rains and snow melts, or if improperly designed or inadequately maintained.
There are other, cheaper solutions which pose none of these concerns. The fact that an open storm sewer pond is being considered on an equal footing with more responsible urban storm water management practices demonstrates the continued lack of oversight by council over city staff.
Patricia Fontyn
Guelph

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