During its regular meeting March 7, Russell Township council voted on the installation of a mobile canteen near the Joe Bélisle baseball diamond in Embrun. Canteen owner Chris Pearson requested in January that he be allowed to install his canteen in the park, and the motion was approved with no discussion
Pearson will operate his canteen from April to October and pay a rental fee of $1250 per month, leading to a potential revenue of $8750 per year to the municipality. Council will revisit this decision in November to decide whether Pearson’s lease will be renewed.
The canteen is 20 feet long and eight feet wide, and Pearson will bring four picnic tables and some garbage receptacles with him. The municipality already maintains a portable toilet in the vicinity. There is a canteen building in the park, but it hasn’t been fit for food preparation for many years and has instead been used as storage by the parks and recreation department. Pearson will use the building for storage as well, and water and electricity will be brought to the truck from the building’s hookups via trenches dug along the ground.
The total cost for these trenches has been estimated at $3500, which the administration recommends be covered by the parks and recreation department’s operational budget. The hookups could be used in the future, and the rent that Pearson will pay to park his canteen would cover the cost in three months. Pearson rents a grey water tank from a local company that empties it weekly, so the township doesn’t need to worry about the wastewater disposal.
The council has previously discussed two bylaws that the canteen would be in violation of. The first states that two canteens can’t operate within 46 meters of each other, and there is already another canteen in the Palais des Sports in Embrun. However, this canteen is only open for two weeks in April and four in October, closing for the entire summer. Township staff discussed the situation with the current owner, who has no objection to Pearson opening his canteen in the area since they have such a short overlap in operation.
The second bylaw states that nobody shall sell anything within a park or recreation area without a permit. Such a permit was granted along with the decision to allow Pearson to park his canteen in the park. Pearson will provide an insurance certificate of $5 million with the municipality added as an additional insured.