In a March 2nd press release, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) announced the return of Farran Park to its portfolio of parks and day-use areas following the expiry of its lease on March 31st with the Township of South Stormont.
The Township of South Stormont has operated the park since 1990. A separate lease agreement between the SLPC and South Stormont remains in effect until 2022 to provide free waterfront access for residents through Lakeview Park.
In the July 25, 1990 edition of The Leader, it was reported: “At its July 18 meeting, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission decided to open doors for business entrepreneurs to participate in operating the parks which were closed this spring due to restructuring.”
The parks in question included Brown’s Bay, Charlottenburgh, Farran, Grenville, and Nairne.
In a follow-up article, the October 10, 1990 edition of The Leader reported that the SLPC “received 14 proposals from public and private sectors for the five parks it closed earlier this year in a cost-cutting measure.”
One of the proposals came from Osnabruck Township (now known as South Stormont) for both Farran and Nairn.
“On an agreement with the Commission, Osnabruck Township operated Farran Park this summer (1990) from July to Labor Day, realizing a profit of $4,000.”
“The Township is looking at a lease to operate both parks for between 30 to 50 years for a nominal fee,” the 1990 article continued. “They wish to extend the camping season to the end of September, and upgrade facilities starting with water and electrical sites in both parks, and improve the boat launching area at Farran.”
The March 2012 SLPC release revealed that in 1991 the SLPC entered into a lease agreement with the Township of South Stormont for the operation of Farran Park.
The SLPC lease required the Township to reinvest a portion of the profits of the campground into the maintenance and capital refurbishment of the park in lieu of higher rent payments to SLPC.
This has resulted in an estimated $500,000 investment in the campground’s infrastructure.
It was also revealed that, in February 2012, the SLPC Board voted to reassume operation of Farran Park, effective April 2, 2012 with the option of considering any future proposals that the Township may choose to submit during the coming year.
Darren Dalgleish, GM & CEO of the SLPC, said, “the municipality should be proud of the job it has done operating the campground over the past 21 years. Now that the lease has reached its end and with SLPC in the process of revitalizing the campgrounds, it’s the right time for the SLPC to reassume operation of the park.”
In the same release, SLPC acting chair, Ron Eamer said, “the SLPC is committed to maintaining and growing Farran Park as we reintegrate it into the Commission’s network of parkland. The camping sector is poised for significant growth and we see a very bright future ahead for Farran.”
Further to that, SLPC Parks and Recreation Manager Lou Seiler added, “we will accommodate current guests and all planned special events at Farran Park.”
“We have decided to ‘grandfather’ the seasonal camping fees and daily campsite fees that were established by the Township in 2011 for the upcoming 2012 season,” continued Seiler.
“Coupled with this will be the new benefits of access to other attractions which represents tremendous value to residents and guests.”