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Monday July 28th, 2014

Posted at 10:00am

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The Bert Weeks Memorial Garden as seen from above on Google.

The city’s parks department is recommendation that City Council consider spending $107,000 in 2015 to bring the Bert Weeks Memorial Garden back up to its original condition.

The gardens were opened in 2005 at a cost of $2,900,000 as a tribute to the city’s former mayor who worked hard to protect the riverfront from development. The gardens feature a cascading water fountain, natural and formal gardens, benches and a noon mark located in the reflecting pool at the foot of Parent Avenue.

Over the years to meet budget constraints, the parks department has removed 588 square yards of planting beds and installed plants that are more drought resistant.

In April, Councillor Allan Halberstadt asked what the costs would be to restore and repair the gardens back to their original state, and keep it that way.

The city estimates that it would cost $15,000 to restore the planting beds that were removed and close to $20,000 to plant and mulch them yearly. In addition, repairs are needed to the underground sprinklers at a cost of $5,000 to $7,000. Yearly maintenance of the system would cost $1,000. Annual maintenance and fertilization of the turf could cost $2,000.

Repairs are needed to the fountain light fixtures, and it is recommended to switch them to LED at a cost of $40,000. A new pump is needed at a cost of $45,000.

Administration has estimated that it would take 24 hours a week to keep the gardens maintained from May to September. The cost for one gardener and two students would be $40,000.

The report goes to City Council on August 5th for direction.

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