As you enter Olde Sandwich Town from University Avenue or Riverside Drive, there is a small parkette that greets you. While this area may look to be a city-owned-and-maintained park, it is not.
The 2,300 square metre park is located at the corner of Detroit and Sandwich Street and at one time was a Petro-Canada gas station (closed 1992). The gas station’s buildings were knocked down and the property was covered with gravel and left in poor condition. In 1995, the city entered into a one year lease with Petro-Canada to maintain the property and create a small park while the land went up for sale. The lease was for $1.00.
Even though the lease was just for one year, the City’s parks department has continued to maintain the site as it is on a lawn maintenance route with Patterson Park across the street. The extra maintenance is estimated to cost only about $75 weekly.
Several years ago, the Olde Sandwich Town Business Improvement Association installed a billboard with lights to enhance the site even more.
The property is still listed for sale at a price tag of $184,000. The Olde Sandwich Town BIA has expressed interested in purchasing the park, but can not under certain provisions in the Municipal Act. As well, the City of Windsor recently decided that they do not have a formal use for the property, and wish to cease maintaining it. A report to City Council states that because Paterson Park is across the street, this park is not needed according to the City’s “parks use policy”.
City administration is recommending that the property owner be notified that maintenance operations performed by Parks & Rec will end and that the property standards by-law shall be enforced for the property. Property owners will be responsible for lawn care and snow removal.
The report goes to City Council in less than a week.
UPDATE: This was deferred at the August 8th meeting of City Council. It will now be debated on Monday August 29th.