Published June 11, 2008
Part of the reason, he said, is to discourage residents from other municipalities from using the park. Cohen added that the new tennis courts would likely replace “dilapidated” courts that residents now use in the Wagar High School parking lot.
The councillor added that he has lobbied for the removal of the basketball court in the park since 2006.
“We have basketball courts which bring people from outside Côte St. Luc,” he said. “These are generally not our residents. The elderly people living on Rembrandt are particularly intimidated to walk through that park at certain times of the night. I don’t feel we need, as taxpayers, a basketball court in one of our very beautiful parks, which we’ve even made nicer in the past year, so that non-residents can come and play basketball.
“I’m not going to make any other insinuations.”
But during the meeting, residents complained of criminality in the park.
One resident who lives across the street from the park, Sam Rappoport, said he once heard what sounded like five gunshots from the park one night, and called Côte St. Luc security. A police station 9 constable at the meeting said 9-1-1 should have been called instead. Rappoport said police did appear at his door to ask questions.
“There’s an ongoing problem of vandalism that has to be addressed,” Rappoport said.
Park attendant Ruby Goodman, who works at Rembrandt until 10 p.m., said vandalism has been taking place after he leaves.
“The police should be going there after midnight,” he said. “They come here on the weekend mainly. The city worker who works with me every day finds needles, drugs, burnt benches — we’ve had a fire there already.”
Other residents suggested security cameras and a comprehensive security plan for all of Côte St. Luc’s parks.
Cohen also said a water play area will be installed later this summer. Public works director David Tordjman said the area will be a “splash pad — where kids can push a button and different water jets jump around.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun and is very interactive for the kids.”