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Contamination at park staying put, city says

According to city staff the contamination in the field adjacent to the Glen Stewart Park clubhouse in not spreading. However, the unexpected appearance of more landfill waste on the site has halted plans to construct a new baseball diamond on the location.

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

Following recent reports that an increased amount of landfill waste had halted the redevelopment of Glen Stewart Park, the city says that the contamination isn’t spreading.

The plans to rehabilitate Glen Stewart Park have been in the works for some time and included a new baseball diamond, efforts to upgrade the park’s playground and splash pad equipment along with rehabilitating the crumbling parking lot and stabilizing the eroding bank of the nearby Goodman Creek. However, a recently released report from the city explains that the baseball diamond plans are no more, due to newly discovered landfill waste on the site.

According to a city report, inspections were first completed on the site in 1977 by a consultant at that time and then again in 2000 by Golder and Associates, both of which cited landfill waste in the southeast corner of the site. A further report done by Golder in 2009, which included three boreholes to nine feet below grade at the north, west and south limits of the site, found landfill waste to the north.

However, when city staff began the more extensive design phase of the project and dug their own test holes on the site, further landfill waste was discovered, which changed plans for the park and halted plans for a new baseball diamond.

“The discovery of a more extensive landfill waste area within the existing park space and the subsequent recommendation provided by our consultant, GHD, to not disturb or excavate into the waste has changed the scope of the project and timing for project completion,” the city report reads.

Glen Stewart Park is located on Cabot Street and bound by Cartier Avenue to the north, Cabot Street to the west, Durham Street to the east and existing residential lands to the south.

According to Mark Robinson, the city’s director of facilities management, the additional landfill waste from what was cited in the initial consultant reports, does not indicate that the contamination is spreading.

“Contamination on the land is not spreading. The two (initial) reports support each other and the city was expecting to find landfill in the southeast corner of the park. Based on this, we prepared the park redevelopment concepts used for public consultation,” he states in an emailed response. “Our subsequent investigation, during the design phase, found landfill material which impacted the design of the parking lot and ball diamond.”

Now, the city is planning to host a second round of public consultations in order to reassess what residents think should be done with the park. The options may be as limited as little digging and excavating can be done on the site, but it’s proposed the location could be used for an “unstructured play field” or an off-leash dog park.

A budget of $1,500 has been set aside for the second round of consultations. It’s the same amount spent on the first go-around.