Survey's - Projects - Proposals

Lighting Survey

Please help the ACTC Board of Directors by answering 4 simple and short questions about playing under the lights at ACTC.

You will help us plan for the future enjoyment of playing tennis during the evening hours. Please click on this link to share your experience and answers. Lighting Survey



Fleury Park Project - Feasibility Study & Call for Resident Input

Aurora Jazz Festival - Aurora Farmers Market

We spent the weekend at the Aurora Jazz Festival showcasing our Fleury Park, all seasons, multi-use, Aurora Sesquicentennial (150 birthday) event centre. With our misting tent we attracted a lot of attention from patrons at the Farmers Market and Jazz festival. The ACTC values our role of contributing to community betterment and participating with like minded groups like the Jazz Festival and Farmers market. We are in good company.

The misting tent cooled down our visitors and enabled us to explain how misting technology is part of our solar panel cooperative plan. The misting technology will also add to the unque ambience we hope to create at Fleury Park. 

Any project, particularly one with the diversity and complexity that we are proposing requires an effective communication/marketing approach. Our misting technology achieves two goals. We are using it at the club to cool ourselves (children's programs) and by connecting it to our Fleury Park project we are attracting people to our initiative because they are unfamiliar with misting as a cooling device. Conversely, we met many people who travelled throughout the southern states who let us know how widely used these misting tents are used in patios, restaurants and sidewalk promenades.  

We spent 3 days at the Festival and had several hundred people visit our tent. We now have a total of 69 people who signed our support and feedback form.  Many contributed new ideas for the all seasons, multi-use facility.  

When I had time, I took as many pictures as I could. I hope they give you a flavour of the cooling effect we contributed to the Jazz festival and how we attracted folks to see what we were doing. (view pictures full screen). 

Thanks to Nancy, Zoran, Ksenia, Nick and Bill who "staffed" our Misting Tent over the weekend. 


All Seasons, All Weather, Fleury Park Project - Support Needed 

The ACTC Board has being moving this project forward for the past 2 years and now we need your help. We are presenting the Fleury Park Project to the Aurora Town Council next week, Tuesday, June 26th at 7:00 pm. We need ACTC members in the Council Chambers to give a clear message that our members support the project. 

What will work the best is if you give a big applause at the end of the video presentation we are making. Your applause will clearly indicate the public is watching and supporting this initiative. Our goal is to have the Council interested in our proposal and then direct Town Staff (the Director of Recreation) to work with us on the feasibility of our project. The Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority gave the Town (on our request) the green light to add 2 courts at Fleury Park. Now we have to be very vocal about having those 2 courts constructed at Fleury Park instead of in outlying areas of the Town. 

This page is dedicated to informing our members and visitors about our all seasons, multi-use, public facility proposed for development at Fleury Park. I'll be moving some of the earlier posts to this page and also linking to our new Facebook page.

Fleury Park Feasibility Study Rejected by Council 

The Short Story:

Report Card – Fleury Park Project Sesquicentennial Event Centre
Aurora Community Tennis Club: A+ for utilizing unused park land, new technologies, multi-use/partnerships (drama, music, recreation), accessing once in a life time Federal funding of up to $500,000

Aurora Town Council: F – for not reading proposal, bullying and browbeating the ACTC delegate presenters, not understanding the solutions presented or asking relevant questions, not allowing time for further study of the solutions presented and particularly, not examining or asking tough questions on the proposal costs and the cost recovery plan.

Town Staff: F – for not engaging with ACTC on writing the Feasibility Study; not including our Feasibility Study in the official Town report; not representing the ACTC Fleury Park Project proposal fully to Council; using inflated figures for a building totally unlike our proposed open sided facility which the Council chose to accept rather than our quotes in the Feasibility Study.

The Long Story

The ACTC extends its thanks to the Sports Aurora Association, Aurora Senior’s Centre, Windfall Ecology Centre, Aurora Performing Arts Group, members of ACTC, the companies (local and national) who provided quotes on the project, Aurora Farmers Market and the Aurora Jazz Plus Festival which allowed us to survey citizens about our proposed Fleury Park project and inform them of our innovative technologies that could enable us to build our Playhouse on a flood plain. We presented our project proposal to the Aurora Council and our plan for developing Fleury Park as a Sesquicentennial multi-user event facility was not approved.

I’m deeply disappointed that Council did not at least put a place marker in the 2013 budget so they could examine the project details in greater depth. As I listened to the dialogue at the last Council meeting I became increasingly dismayed as some Council members voiced their opposition to our plan.

Beneath the title of our report to Council we included a definition of a feasibility study taken from Heritage Canada Legacy Grant Program. It read “An independently written report to determine the likelihood of success”. In our report we identified the challenges and our proposed solutions that would in our view achieve a “likelihood of success”. Instead of reading and understanding our report, the majority of Council chose to ignore our research and recommendations. Instead they accepted their staff’s estimate that this project would cost $8,000,000 plus ...too expensive for consideration.

If I was allowed to speak during their discussion on our proposal here is what I would ask.

Why was I challenged by the Chair when I was about to introduce three co-speakers to our proposal for the five minute presentation we were allowed. I had asked the Clerk’s office for guidance and she explained that having multiple speakers is within the delegation process as long as I stayed within the five minute time allotment. I felt the Chair’s challenge was intimidating to our group and set a tone of negativity towards our delegation message. I felt confronted even before we began our delegation. I remembered that the delegation before us (Sesquicentennial committee) had two speakers in their presentation so why was our delegation confronted with breaking procedural rules. The names of the individuals that were to speak in your delegation was listed so why were we told we could not have them speak. Fortunately one of the Councillors made a motion to waive the ruling the Chair was making and we were able to continue.

Why, did the Chair bring forward his view that the LSRCA clearly communicated their opinion that our proposal would not meet their policy standards and in saying this infer that a) our solution to this issue is without merit and b) we had misled staff and by extension the Aurora Council, leading Council members to think that LSRCA would accept our proposal. Why did he make statements that are so contradictory to the facts we presented in our Feasibility Study Report and also my response to his LSRCA letter where I clearly stated we would ask Council to fund a hydrological study (that is required for adding courts at Fleury Park and building a retaining wall/amphitheatre) that would determine the viability for the smart vent technology we researched as a solution to the flood plain challenge. 

Several months previous we informed staff about our plan to work with the CHI company from Guelph Ontario on a hydrological study to address the outdated flood plain policy. I note that staff did not include that document in his official staff report. Had he done so the Chair may have understood our proposed solution to the challenge of construction on the flood plain?

As late as two years ago (documented in our July 2012 update to Town staff) the Director of Recreation informed us that our inquiry to the LSRCA about building an open sided structure on piles/stilts was positively accepted by the LSRCA. In our updates to Council we referred the Recreation Directors verbal assurances and on his assurance we proceeded to develop our open sided model using large garage style doors and in recently the smart vent technology. We clearly explained in our Report and to Aurora staff that our application to LSRCA would be rejected based on existing policy however we would appeal on the grounds that LSRCA policies did not take into account that the new smart vent innovation and the nature of the pile/stilt model that make construction on a flood plain possible.

My view is that the Chair did not read our Feasibility Study closely or he would have known of our strategy with the LSRCA. I think he made a snap and faulty judgement when he received the LSRCA response to his letter. Also, it appears that he was not informed by his staff of our documentation and strategy in regard to addressing the flood plain policies. In addition, I believe the Chair’s lack of understanding of our Report plus his erroneous belief that we were pursuing an impossible strategy (after a year of planning, how could we be so devoid of common sense) tainted and influenced others on the Council who in the end voted against our proposal. In addition, his comment about “being concerned that I mislead staff ” unfairly characterized me as being unprofessional and dishonest which added further doubt in the minds of some Council members.

Why did Councillor Buck make a long speech about the propriety of a community organization like ACTC making a Report that did not follow the Recreation Master Plan when the Feasibility Report contained a 10 page section that assessed our Project in Relation to the Parks & Recreation Master Plan? In that section there are 35 components in our Proposal that directly support the recommendations of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The central theme and numerous recommendations in the Master Plan called for the development of a multi-use, hub style recreation structure in an area easily accessible to youth, adults and families. Our Fleury Park Project used those recommendations to make our case, yet Councillor Buck scolded us for not following the Master Plan. Furthermore, why didn’t any of the Councillors not even seem to understand that our Proposal used the Master Plan as a template to address the challenges we identified in the Feasibility Study.

Why did Councillor Buck praise staff for their diligence and expertness and scold us for putting unwarranted demands on Council (that’s how I heard her) by expecting Council to direct staff to follow up on our research and recommendations? Her message was clear – our Study was a waste of staff time. Why the fervent defense of staff? Until now, we made no complaint about staff’s actions or performance.

Why did Town staff not respond to our e-mail requests to have a meeting so we can form a united and collaborative approach to create a Feasibility Study Report? Council’s motion in June 2012 directed ACTC to work with staff on the Feasibility Study and report back to Council on the challenges and potential solutions to the challenges. We were of the view that we were mandated partners and volunteer staff in this assignment .We spent four months preparing materials and attempted to confer with Staff, with little response.

Why did Town staff appear to have no understanding of our Fund Development model, the Heritage Legacy grant stream and our integrated approach to develop a sustainable cost effective plan which had a clear cost recovery schedule where Town investments would be recovered and profit eventually earned? Why didn’t Council know or ask more about Legacy Fund grant stream that ACTC could apply with the Town’s support and that could result in up to $500,000 to support the Fleury Project. More to the point, why didn’t Councillors ask staff about details in our Report and at the least direct staff (as they did in the Motion of June, 2012) to work with us and confirm the estimates and quotes in our Report.

Why did Town staff not include our Feasibility Study Report presented to Council on November 20th? 
Instead he represented our Feasibility Report as a series of poorly copied files taken from out of date (and irrelevance) correspondence. Why did staff tell my colleague Bill and I verbally prior to the Council meeting that our Feasibility Report was attached to his Report when in fact it wasn’t part of his report ? And related to this point, why did staff or the Council not include the Feasibility Study earlier in the 2013 budget discussion process?

Why did a few Councillors choose to accept a staff estimate for our project at 8 million dollars or $200 per square foot instead of a quote we presented from a national builder for 2-2.5 million overall project cost? Furthermore, we included an in-depth comparison between the Fleury Playhouse and the Angus Glen Tennis Centre in Markham ($200 per sq. ft.) which clearly shows why our figures to be an accurate representation of the estimated costs for the Fleury Playhouse. There was not one question about our quote or comparison document from the Councillors. These Councillors who made it very clear that they were supporting the Staff quote regardless of our explicit description in how we differ in materials, design and scale from the $200 sq. ft. Angus Glen facility.

Why did Councillors with the exception of Councillor Gallo not acknowledge receipt of our interim update nor accept our invitation to learn more about our multi-use, all seasons facility ? We knew that our proposal was complex and Councillors would need time to study our project. Yet no Councillor even made a cursory inquiry about our offer to meet to discuss the solutions we were developing for the challenges related to the flood plain, fund development plans, connecting the project to the Aurora Sesquicentennial Year, our community supporters, parking, partnerships, technology innovations, cost recovery models, complementary elements to Parks & Recreation Master Plan, Promenade Study etc.

It’s my view that if the Councillors met with us a few months ago, as we requested, they would have learned more about our approach to the Study and better able to provide their expertise and suggestions to fulfil our goal of creating a Feasibility Study that would determine the likelihood of success. Instead, we received shallow questions, faulty assumptions and outright rejection of our research, partnership building and community building expertise.

And finally, why were we viewed and treated so antagonistically by Council when we were tasked with fulfilling the Council’s motion made in June. We did not feel (with a few exceptions) we were genuinely thanked for our volunteer efforts nor recognized for the completeness of our Feasibility Study Report. Indeed our overall impression was that few Councillors actually read our Report. My colleague Bill Reid and I have over 50 years between us of organizing, designing and managing complex projects both in Government and in the community level yet we at the end of the Council meeting we felt treated like pesky interfering volunteers who really don’t understand how things work.

My only conclusion to my series of questions is this. Council members did not take the time to read the Feasibility Study Report and understand the multi-layered stages approach we took. Councillor Gallo’s motion to further study our recommendations and keep the project alive in the 2013 budget considerations was responded with facile arguments and just plain lack of knowledge of our Feasibility Report. We attempted to create a shared approach to completing the Study with Town staff however our efforts were met with ignored email requests, negativity and disinterest. I think anyone would agree that delaying talking with us about creating our assigned Feasibility Study for five months is not a sign of cooperation.

Rest assured, our research and recommendations will live on as we share our material with others in our community. Ours is a sustainable plan that after a very short period would be earning revenue for a municipality instead of draining money from taxpayers. The technology innovations we found in the Smart Vent product will be used widely across Ontario (as it already is in Bolton ON) and will greatly enhance the public’s access and use of parkland and recreation services.

I
end on a positive note to the Aurora Council. The guest speaker, Danielle Zanotti, CEO of the United Way of York Region said in his speech to Council that a town’s vitality and sustainability is directly related to the social attachments that it fosters amongst its citizens. Ironically, he cited research that we used in our Feasibility Study. The Fleury Park Project was created to increase a greater sense of attachment and belongingness of Aurorans and visitors.

Our non-profit community organization will continue fostering attachment and belongingness in our community. That is our mission. We have creative community members and volunteers who enjoy offering solutions to challenges that result in a more healthy and sustainable community. We will continue sharing our Fleury Playhouse Project and cost recovery strategy with interested stakeholders where ever they are in Aurora and York Region.


Feasibility Study - Presented to Aurora Council November 20th, 2012
Feasibility Study - Fleury Park Project



Our Town - Live from the Auroran with 
Alison Collins-Mrakas

In this interview Brent and Bill talk about the Fleury Park Heritage Project with Alison - Colins Mrakas, host of My Town at The Auroran - our local Aurora Newspaper.


Watch live streaming video from theaurorancom at livestream.com

Imagine - Fleury Park Heritage Project
________________________________________________________________________________________________


Hi everyone,

We need your support to create a multi-use, all seasons, public recreational and cultural/event facility at historic Fleury Park. Our goal is to build awareness about our project and give opportunities for people to give suggestions and comments. With our Facebook Page we will demonstrate to the Town, partners, collaborators and supporters that the community believes in our proposal.   

Please visit our new Facebook Page - Fluery Park Heritage Project to view the latest posts.

Like us on Facebook and leave a few comments about our proposal. 

On our Facebook site you can see and view the: 

  • The latest video (Imagine)  of our multi-use, all seasons, public facility situated in historic Fleury Park. 
  • Articles from the Era Banner and The Auroran;
  • Letter to the Auroran Editor in response to cartoon that misinforms the public about our Project; 
  • A photo gallery with pictures showing our solar power misting technology and community feedback survey that we conducted at the Aurora Jazz Festival;
  • A list of our progress and actions related to the completion of the Feasibility Study that the Town of Aurora directed us to complete with Town staff.

We can't achieve our goals without your support so please follow up with our call to action and show your support by liking us and leaving your comments and suggestions

Thanks for your support everyone.

Brent

_______________________________________________________________________

Smart Vents

Smart Vents are a recent invention that is saving home owners, municipalities and businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in time of flooding. This device is one of the two key technologies that we will be highlighted in our Feasibility Study and eventually be presented to the Lake Simcoe 
Conservation Authourity. We will seek their approval (and policy change) of this device as a proven and tested technology for flood plain management.  

This device has tremendous potential for municipalities (taxpayers) to save money as expensive land will not need to be purchased and developed from scratch. The device is not widely known in Canada. Home owners living in flood plains will also benefit from installing this device. 

I think you will see how it can be used on our Fleury Park facility. We believe that once the Conservation Board sees and understands how this project works, they will update their policies to reflect the advancement in flood plain management. Have a look and let us know what you think. You can learn more about this product on the Smart Vent website.



_________________________________________________________________

This is a Global News story about the Town building courts in neighbourhoods rather than in central locations for greater public access. Hopefully this news may help get out our message about year round access for multi use enjoyment of public facilities. 

 


__________________________________________________________________
Fleury Park Heritage Project

If you don't use Facebook and would like to show your support, please use brentmack@rogers.com to share your ideas. To help you think about a question, I've listed the following key features of the Project Proposal. 

  1. Sport Groups - interested in using the facility for your sport? 
  2. Event Planners - Wanting to cut down the risks of losing your event to bad weather? 
  3. Solar Panel Coop - How can Non-Profit groups join the proposed Coop and earn revenue? 
  4. Tennis Players - Can you book courts in this weather protected facility? 
  5. General questions - Any question that doesn't fit the ones listed.
_________________________________________________________________

Fleury Park Project - Feasibility Study & Call for Resident Input

We spent the weekend at the Aurora Jazz Festival and Aurora Farmers Marketshowcasing our Fleury Park, all seasons, multi-use, Aurora Sesquicentennial (150 birthday) event centre. With our misting tent we attracted a lot of attention from patrons at the Farmers Market and Jazz festival. The ACTC values our role of contributing to community betterment and participating with like minded groups like the Jazz Festival and Farmers market. We are in good company.

The misting tent cooled down our visitors and enabled us to explain how misting technology is part of our solar panel cooperative plan. The misting technology will also add to the unique ambience we hope to create at Fleury Park.

Any project, particularly one with the diversity and complexity that we are proposing requires an effective communication/marketing approach. Our misting technology achieves two goals. We are using it at the club to cool ourselves (children's programs) and by connecting it to our Fleury Park project we are attracting people to our initiative because they are unfamiliar with misting as a cooling device. Conversely, we met many people who travelled throughout the southern states who let us know how widely used these misting tents are used in patios, restaurants and sidewalk promenades.

We spent 3 days at the Festival and had several hundred people visit our tent. We now have a total of 69 people who signed our support and feedback form. Many contributed new ideas for the all seasons, multi-use facility.

When I had time, I took as many pictures as I could. I hope they give you a flavour of the cooling effect we contributed to the Jazz festival and how we attracted folks to see what we were doing. (view pictures full screen).

Thanks to Nancy, Zoran, Ksenia, Nick and Bill who "staffed" our Misting Tent over the weekend.




Tennis and/or Pickleball - a game for life 


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software