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Upper Fort Garry site a provincial park

THE birthplace of Winnipeg is now a provincial park.

Four years after the provincial government first announced the site of a historic Hudson's Bay Co. trading post, just south of Broadway and Main Street, would become a park, the site was officially proclaimed on Tuesday as the Upper Fort Garry Heritage Provincial Park. The park is slated to officially open on Sept. 27.

"The province supports the development of the park and will continue to work closely with the Friends of Upper Fort Garry, the group leading the drive for the park's creation," Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh said in a statement.

The Upper Fort Garry Heritage Provincial Park Act also establishes an advisory committee on historic resources, development and programming.

The fort was constructed in 1836, but an expansion in the late 1840s and early 1850s included the north gate, which is the only part of the structure that escaped demolition through the decades.

A portion of the site was in danger of being developed into housing in 2007, but the Friends were able to raise $10 million in 107 days to build the project. The province has so far contributed $4 million toward total park development costs of $9 million.

Earlier this year, land at the site bought by the Friends was gifted to the province.

Jerry Gray, chairman of the Friends, said the park was proclaimed on the anniversary of the province's entry into Confederation in 1870.

"This is a historic day," Gray said.

"It's a provincial park, but the Friends of the Upper Fort Garry will still raise money and manage it day to day with The Forks Renewal Corporation. We will cover the operating costs, too."


Police in schools for 3 more years

WINNIPEG police will continue to patrol school halls for at least another three years.

The protection and community services committee endorsed an agreement with three school divisions Tuesday to provide officers at specific high schools and junior high schools.

The arrangements involve the Winnipeg, Pembina Trails and St. James-Assiniboia school divisions.

An administrative report says Winnipeg police will assign 13 officers to the school divisions. The cost of the services is subsidized by city hall: The school divisions split the cost of salaries and benefits but the city will charge the divisions as if the officers are paid at the fourth-class rate, when they are actually first-class constables. The result is instead of a 50/50 split, the school divisions pay 40 per cent of the costs.

The province later reimburses the school divisions for 50 per cent of their costs.

The arrangement, which must still be approved by council, will see nine officers assigned to the Winnipeg School Division, and two officers each to St. James-Assiniboia and Pembina Trails.


Pool-fire damage more than $1M

A fire at the Elmwood Kildonans pool in May caused more than $1 million in damages and will keep the facility closed to the end of the year.

City staff told the protection and community services committee the fire occurred early in the morning of May 8, when the pool was closed, in an electrical control panel in the pool's basement.

While there was little fire damage, smoke from the smouldering panel was sucked into the exhaust system and distributed throughout the building.

Staff in the morning found the pool area filled with black smoke. There was a layer of black dust on all surfaces throughout the building.

Most of the cleanup work involved scrubbing down all surfaces. Some of the ductwork and insulation had to be replaced.

The committee was told custom control panels for electrical and the HVAC system need to be manufactured, adding that will likely keep the pool closed until mid-December.


-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 16, 2014 A1


Updated on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 6:57 AM CDT: Fixes headline

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