Setting up a new business in Timmins can be an adventure depending on the type of business you are considering. Retail is pretty straight forward; permits, tax numbers and a good insurance agent is key beyond your business plan.
This is not the case with this story.
I had the chance to talk to Jonathan Bonney, the gentleman who has been going through the process of setting up the Timmins Wake Park. This sort of business takes a a few more hoops to go through.
The Mattagami Region Conservation Authority approved the use of the Gilles Lake in a 3 - 2 decision.
"Council has no authority to debate a resolution of the MRCA. I understand that they passed a resolution 3-2 to support your project and that is their decision to make. Council can only deal with the property that is in the name of the City; therefore, I don’t see the matter coming before Council unless you need to lease or purchase City property." - Jack Watson, June 24th, 2013.
Bonney will continue to move this project forward following a confirmation from Councillor Steven Black: "we discussed the project and are still in support of moving forward in principle. Kees ( Pols ) and board members will review your proposal that you sent last week over the coming weeks and at our next meeting we will discuss any concerns or changes we think are needed to move forward or if it contains anything that would be a major roadblock for us. I am sure kees will be in touch if he needs anything clarified by you in preperation for our next meeting." - June 26, 2013.
Here are a few questions that Timmins Today asked Jonathon:
When you started this journey did you think it was going to take this long? "I knew it wouldn't be easy, but no I didn't think it would take this long. However, I believe we held out and persisted because we believe Gillies Lake has tremendous potential for a wake park and so I think taking the this much time was necessary in making sure we got what we wanted."
Are you satisfied with the time and process happening in Timmins?
"These things do take time as I inevitably learned. However I would say that the process was frustrating at times to say the least. But I don't think that was intentional on behalf of the city. I mean this concept and project is something never seen before here in Northern Ontario and so I believe the city and MRCA took a cautious and slow going approach. Although they were always supportive of the project, there lacked a certain commitment and leap of faith, but we are very excited to have turned the page on that and have the MRCA on board with us. "
Have you opened other wake parks and if so did you have the same process from beginning to end?
"This will be our first wake park. However we do have a proposal with the city of Ottawa. We will surely take what I've learned from this experience to better our bid for a wake park in Ottawa."
I read through your plans a couple of times; do you anticipate any changes via Timmins council?
"At this point I don't anticipate any major changes. Our plans have undergone many changes over the last year in consultation with the city, the Community Development Committee, and the MRCA. We feel as though our latest proposal is in everyone's best interest."
Hopefully this story comes to a positive conclusion. Including employment, this is a reason to come to Timmins; everyone benefits from tourism. It gives a reason for a teen to spend a buck on something positive and provide some exercise in the process. We will continue to follow this.