Skip to content

Nelson council to partner with Rotary for Rosemont spray park

Nelson Rotary Daybreak has fundraised $190,000 for the project, to begin construction in 2024
Kids on the swings at Art Gibbon Park in Rosemont in 2021. The playground is part of Rotary Daybreak’s inter-generational park project, to which the group plans to now add a spray park. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson council has agreed to partner with Nelson Rotary Daybreak in the construction and operation of a spray park at Art Gibbon Park in Rosemont, with construction to begin in 2024.

Rotary told council it will contribute $190,000 to the park. This would come close to covering the estimated $195,000 capital cost of the facility. Council agreed to cover the operating costs of about $64,000 per year.

In July, 2022, Rotary asked Nelson City Council to contribute to its plan for a spray park, but council made no decision at that time.

At that 2022 meeting, council asked management staff to look into the possibility of a recirculating park (in which the water is re-used) rather than a flow-through park (in which the water is used once, then goes into the storm sewer system).

Director of public works Colin Innes came to the Feb. 14 board meeting having researched this. To install a recirculating park would require $425,000 to purchase a mini-water treatment plant for the park, because the water would have to be treated each time it is recirculated. In addition to the capital cost, Innes said, the operation of an onsite treatment plant would take considerable staff time.

Councillors Jesse Pineiro and Leslie Payne suggested that the water, once used, could be collected and used for something else, such as irrigation. Innes said provincial law requires the city to create a wastewater management plan to re-use water that may have become contaminated.

He said water re-use that is acceptable to the province might mean something like a carwash next door or nearby irrigation. The wastewater management plan would have to go into great detail about how the water would be re-used, and he offered to pursue this if asked.

Councillor Jesse Woodward said running the water through the park without re-using it flies in the face of the city’s measures to reduce water use.

Innes said the volume of water running through the water park would be relatively small, because the water flow is activated only when it is being used, and it is a small water park to begin with. He said if water restrictions were imposed in the summer the water park could be turned off.

Asked by Councillor Rik Logtenberg why the city would want to add more volume to the already-stressed sewage treatment plant, Innes replied that the volume coming from the spray park would be small enough that it would make little difference. In any event, he said, the treatment plant is due to be upgraded in the next few years. City manager Kevin Cormack added the small amount of water from the park would not cause an increase in the city’s wastewater budget.

Councillor Kate Tait, speaking in favour of the flow-through option, said the annual operational cost is a small price to pay for the community-building the park will accomplish.

“When we build amenities like this, there is a huge trickle-out effect,” she said. “If we want to attract businesses to our community, if we want people to want to live here, and if we want walkable neighbourhoods — all the different neighbourhoods — you have to invest in those neighbourhoods.”

Mayor Janice Morrison said she is in favour of the flow-through option and said that Rosemont near Art Gibbon Park is a very dense neighbourhood of many townhomes populated by young families. She predicted even more such development there in the coming years.

“Parks are free,” she said. “We don’t charge admission, they are for all of the citizens of Nelson … and it is our duty to put those in place.”

Council voted to fund a flow-through system and begin construction in 2024, with Woodward voting against the motion.


Rotary Daybreak asks Nelson council for contribution to planned Rosemont spray park

Sewage from Nelson treatment plant runs into Kootenay River during storms: environment ministry

Planning for new Nelson sewage treatment plant will take three years

Nelson contributes $5,000 in kind to Rosemont inter-generational park

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Bill Metcalfe

About the Author: Bill Metcalfe

I have lived in Nelson since 1994 and worked as a reporter at the Nelson Star since 2015.
Read more