Plympton-Wyoming wants McEwen Park back


Plympton-Wyoming wants one of its lakeside parks back.
The former township of Plympton turned over what was then called Plympton Park to the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority in the 1980s for $1. It also turned over Highland Glen. The idea was the conservation authority was better equipped to care for the lakefront park.
According to a report from the town’ CAO, Carolyn Tripp, Plympton-Wyoming now pays the majority of the costs to maintain the park even though the conservation authority does the work. The town pays a special levy of over $12,000 a to maintain of McEwen Park. It costs the authority about $13,000.
Highland Glen is considered a regional park, so Plympton-Wyoming only pays part of the maintenance fee.
In the last year, council has not been satisfied with some of the decisions made by the authority in the parks in the municipality. Last year, councillors heard scores of complaints when the conservation authority implemented a parking fee at Highland Glen. The park has a boat launch and the fee was meant to help offset some of the costs of the launch. It wasn’t well communicated and people began calling councillors about the issue.
That led councillors to question whether the municipality would be better off running the parks in their boundaries.
May 8, council passed a motion asking the conservation authority to begin negotiations to return McEwen Park to the town.
Mayor Lonny Napper sees this as a “golden opportunity” for Plympton-Wyoming. He says the parks along the lakeshore are helping to attract new residents in the area. He would like to see the municipality maintain the park to its residents’ benefits. He believes it is “smart and forward thinking” for the municipality to take back the park.
Council voted 6-1 in favour of the move. The CAO will approach the conservation authority to begin talking about a possible transfer.
In December, during a visit to council, conservation authority general manager, Brian McDougall said the board would be glad to talk about it with the town.