Bartlett’s Point is gaining power.
It’s not just the electrical hook-up about to be installed to empower the 14 lights that will surround the park, but the development will finally round into form by this fall.
The park — which has great historical significance in the Curling area — was identified as a park project years ago. It was purchased by the city in 1988 for the purposes of future recreational development.
Finally, the city allotted $100,000 for the project in 2009. Corner Brook Mayor Charles Pender estimated $1.3 million could be invested in the park, if funding arrangements were realized. There was talk of potential for a coffee house, bed and breakfast or craftshop on the property — a re-creation of the Bartlett Homestead.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency approved more than $160,000 to begin the first phase of the development in November 2009.
Preliminary trail work began in fall of 2009 on the 6.7 acres of land with access to the beach. It was expected to take two years.
As the years passed and progress slowed, questions about the development arose. By July 2012, work completed included improving the road and pedestrian access to the park area from the adjacent Allen’s Cove Marina. A service road accessed from Petries Street was also roughed in.
A service building, containing washrooms and a storage area was built, plus a septic field installed. Concrete footings for the light standards, plus the conduits for underground wiring were in place. At the time, former city chief administrative officer Mike Dolter and Brent Humphries, the executive director of the Corner Brook Stream Development Corporation, spoke about the need for adjustments in the project.
The project lost its federal funding partner in the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The city and the stream corporation continued to scrounge for funding to continue the park development. The province and the city continued to invest. Talk of re-creating the Bartlett Homestead subsided.
Humphries told members of the Rotary Club of Corner Brook Thursday that the park will be ready to officially be open to users this fall. Although it is still considered a construction site, he said, people have been using the trail system.
“We sort of scaled back and changed the development plan as circumstances arose,” Humphries said.
Interpretive panels about the Bartlett House and the history of Curling are ready to be erected. The playground equipment — much like that found at Margaret Bowater Park — will be installed toward the end of the construction season. The concrete steps accessing the beach will also be poured.
There will be a roofed-in picnic area with two gazebos ideal for shelter from the rain or shade from the sun.
When completed the trail system and its infrastructure will be similar to what is featured in other areas throughout the summer, said Humphries. It will be ideal for young families and children, he said.
As the city moves forward with its mandated sewage treatment, Humphries, said the waterfront should become even more of an attraction.
“A part of it is also to bring people down to the beach, so they can enjoy it,” he said. “They might not be able to swim in it, just yet, but down the road it will be much cleaner. It is a beautiful spot to visit.”