Town council refuses request to allow horse and buggies in King’s Navy Yard Park

 

Horse and buggies, as seen here at a recent Amherstburg Community Services function, will not be permitted in King's Navy Yard Park. While council was not opposed to horse and buggies on the street, they voted to deny usage in the park by a 5-2 vote.

Horse and buggies, as seen here at a recent Amherstburg Community Services function, will not be permitted in King’s Navy Yard Park. While council was not opposed to horse and buggies on the street, they voted to deny usage in the park by a 5-2 vote.

By Ron Giofu

 

Town council has rejected a proposal that would have allowed horse and buggies to operate in Navy Yard Park for the purposes of special events, mainly weddings, at the gazebo.

The horse and buggy route would have been at the north end of the park with the entrance being next to the privately-owned parking lot of the building at 238 Dalhousie St. The request was turned down in a recorded vote of 5-2, with Mayor Wayne Hurst, Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland and councillors Bart DiPasquale, Diane Pouget and John Sutton were opposed to having horse and buggy operators in the park. Councillors Bob Pillon and Carolyn Davies voted against the motion that declined the request.

Davies said the town “is in the licensing business” and questioned how many incidents have taken place with horse and buggies in town, including the park. She told her colleagues she had heard no complaints and director of recreation and culture Dean Collver responded that he was not aware of any incidents.

“It is entertainment, it is one more draw to our town,” contended Davies.

Davies compared it to St. Jacobs and said she has seen horses “charm the people” in the park.

“I’ve not had a single complaint against it,” she stated.

“This isn’t Central Park,” said Hurst. “We don’t have the room, in my estimation, to accommodate horse and buggies in the park.”

Hurst said weddings are welcome in the park and horse and buggies leading up to the park, but not to enter the park.

“I don’t think it’s conducive to have horse and carriages go through there,” he added.

DiPasquale said the pathways in Navy Yard Park are close to meeting Highway Traffic Act or other regulations in order to accommodate horse and buggies.

“I’m totally against it because of the possible problems we might have,” said DiPasquale.

Pouget indicated there may be issues if someone with a disability were to encounter a horse and buggy due to the narrow pathways.

“We would be taking a big chance if we allow horse and buggies to go in there,” she said.

Pouget also voiced concerns about what could happen if a horse ever became “spooked” while in the park.

“I believe when the park was built it was a passive park and I want it to stay that way,” added Sutherland.

Sutton said horse and buggies are welcome to continue on downtown streets but agreed the Navy Yard Park wasn’t a suitable location for such a service.

“We simply do not have the infrastructure in the park to accommodate horse and buggies,” said Sutton.

Pillon suggested the town take a closer look at the matter and not hold themselves back.

“Times are changing,” said Pillon. “I don’t know why we don’t want to change. It’s not going to be the old wild west with stagecoaches running all over.”

 

Comments are closed.