July 27, 2017
P. 1

We are going on...
Vol. 4, Issue 47
Petrolia Discovery poised to reopen after two-year absence
Heather Wright
The Independent
After two years of work by a vol- unteer board and summer students, Petrolia Discovery is on the verge of reopening the historic site to the public.
In Aug. 2015, after the sudden death of the then general manager of the site, the foundation which runs Petrolia Discovery and the Town of Petrolia struck a deal for town of cials to manage the site. Within days, the town announced the site would be closed for repairs.
“Staff needs time to go through the facility and work to refurbish this very important piece of Pet- rolia,” said Mayor John McChar- les in a news release at the time.
The town asked Lambton County building inspectors to come out
to the site. By late September,
the county had posted an Order
to Remedy Unsafe buildings with six buildings being deemed unsalvageable.
The site was closed to the public and the town “reluctantly” stepped away from its agreement saying the repairs would be too costly for the taxpayers to foot the bill.
Gwenevere Cronwell and Amanda Leatherdale work on the deck surrounding the holding tank at Petrolia Discovery. Three summer students, hired with government grants, have been repairing walkways and cleaning up the site in the hope of opening some me in early August.
So for the past two years, the volunteer board has been quietly working with the building inspect- or on what should be repaired.
 elds only by early August. The buildings came down in
items they needed to  x bridges and displays. Two local lumber dealers, Watson Timber Mart and Lambton Home Building Centre, stepped up so three bridges, walk- ways and a viewing platform on an
oil tank could be repaired by sum- mer students hired by Discovery.
Heather Wright Photo
supervised as the materials were burned. And OWS’s Railroad Division donated much needed railroad ties for the property.
Dawn Sperling, vice-chair of the foundation board, says the goal
is to be able to open the historic
2016 and the bridges and walk- ways are being built this summer.
Crews from Fairbank Oil helped remove a number of outbuild-
ings and a former portable which served as an of ce and board room
Heather Wright
plain, but the town maintains the grounds for town use.
Water has pooled around a kid’s climber for so long, cattails have appeared. There’s also mini wet- lands near the permanent wash- rooms and along the west side of the park.
the  rst phase of the Petrolia Line reconstruction is to blame for this year’s “terrible” conditions at the park.
way. Town staff say the water isn’t moving away soon enough and that means a lot of standing water.
The Independent
On a normal year, it is dif cult to maintain in the spring when  ood- waters collect around the pavilion and washrooms, but generally by June, town staff can keep the lawn in good condition with a local charity hosting a Father’s Day Car Show by mid-month.
Petrolia’s chief administrative of cer says if funding to  x the water problems at Bridgeview Park doesn’t arrive soon, the town may shell out some cash to  x the problem.
Kevin Baker of the conserva- tion authority says the park can be expected to be wet because it is
a  ood plain and it has been very rainy this year. But CAO Manny Baron believes a new drainage pond created two years ago during
Baron says the Ministry of the Environment ordered the town to install the outfall which collects rainwater from the main street and directs it to the holding pond on the outer edge of the park. From there it is supposed to slowly make its way to Bear Creek.
The town has been working with the conservation authority on a solution. Baron says there is a plan which would see a series of small ponds along the west side of the park, near the hill, which would theoretically drain the water away faster than the current system.
Bear Creek runs through one
of the town’s premier parks. It’s owned by the St. Clair Conserva- tion Authority because it is a  ood
But this year, the use of the park has been severely limited by standing water.
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Sperling says the board ap- proached local businesses for
Free of Charge ~ Read and Enjoy!
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Petrolia could consider funding  x for standing water at Bridgeview: CAO
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