Dysart et al has been gifted a piece of land that could someday hold a new recreation centre.
The municipality made the gift public at a council meeting Nov. 26. The 15.75-acre block is at the corner of County Road 21 and Soyer’s Lake Road, across from the Pinestone Resort. A condition of the transfer is that it can only be used for a new rec centre.
Marnnie Blair made the donation to honour her parents, Lee and Marie Blair.
“The community meant a lot to both of my parents and, as such, I am delighted to make this contribution to the health and well-being of all,” she said in a message to the township.
She declined an interview but added she is glad “to support the community in this way.”
Mayor Andrea Roberts said it is an area she has considered for years and she is excited by its possibilities.
“I am absolutely thrilled,” Roberts said. “It’s flat, it’s on County Road 21, it’s the last property that’s actually on sewers.”
However, Roberts said although this is a good first step, she emphasized the municipality is a long way from starting any development.
“This is fairly far off in the future. I don’t even think anything will happen in this term of council,” Roberts said.
It is no certainty that the piece of land will be the site of Dysart’s next recreation centre, with no feasibility study yet done. But Roberts said the municipality did not own any excess land which would be a good fit.
“The reality is there’s very little land that we have to build anything like that on,” Roberts said.
She said there are issues with A.J. LaRue Arena as a community centre, such as accessibility. Though she does not expect to start advancing a new rec centre in 2020, she said council might strike a committee later in its term.
“It’s an asset for the community,” Roberts said. “This isn’t something that’s going to be done just with council.”