THE Town of Cambridge will spend almost $1 million to expand McCourt Park, improve drainage and save two popular trees.
The Town has entered into a contract to purchase 77 McCourt Street adjacent to McCourt Park in West Leederville for $990,000 following a controversial report to council in March to consider a design for the installation of a drainage sump after nearby properties had flooded.
Civil drainage and landscaping designs prepared for the council received public backlash when it was revealed the option to excavate McCourt Park playground area to accommodate underground storage would require the removal of two large trees from the park.
Mayor Keri Shannon said a resident suggested acquiring the land.
“Without any additional land, the drainage sump installation would have required the removal of two significant trees and the reconfiguration of the playground at a cost of $275,000,” she said.
“At the suggestion of the affected neighbour, the Town was able to acquire the block of land directly adjacent to the park which will be used to locate the drainage sump.
“Residents will benefit from the addition of the land which will ultimately become an active area of the park for park users to throw a frisbee or kick a football.”
Councillor Louis Carr dubbed the now scrapped $305,550 design “the most controversial item on the agenda” at the March meeting.
“No one wants the two trees removed,” Cr Carr said.
McCourt Street resident Conor Mallen said his property had flooded three times due to insufficient drainage in the area.
Council will consider a re-design of the park that incorporates the additional area and public feedback will be sought.