A set of stairs installed by a concerned citizen at an Etobicoke park can’t stay, but the city is working on a permanent solution for the site.

Speaking with CP24.com Thursday, Coun. Justin Di Ciano said the city is still figuring out exactly what will be done, but he said there will be a solution for the embankment where the stairs were built.

“I’m certainly working hard with our parks department to come up with a more permanent solution,” he said.

Adi Astl, a retired mechanic, said the stairs in Tom Riley Park were needed because residents were using a rope to get up and down a shortcut into the park on an embankment and that it was unsafe.

He built his own steps last month after getting frustrated with city estimates that said the project could cost as much as $150,000.

He said the eight-step staircase cost him $550.

However his thrifty staircase was shuttered with caution tape by a bylaw officer because it wasn’t sanctioned by the city.

Speaking with CP24 Wednesday, Mayor John Tory said he would ask city staff to come up with a more reasonable estimate for building the stairs, but said the project might not necessarily be the best use of city funds as there is a fully accessible entrance to the park some 200 feet from the embankment.

The city has said the steps definitely have to come down because they are not built to code and the municipality could be liable if anyone is injured while using them.

While it’s not yet clear whether steps will be the solution, Di Ciano said Thursday that the city will definitely find a fix for the site and is exploring options.

“You talk to construction people and there are all kinds of ways you can solve problems,” he said. “We’re looking at options and were going to have a solution in the near future.”

For his part, Astl told CTV News Thursday that he doesn’t think there’s much he can do to stop the city from taking the stairs down.

“You have to give and take – every negotiation is a give and take. What am I going to do –I’m the little guy,” he said. “They can come with a crane anytime and pull this thing out.”

However he said the important thing is that something is done to make the short-cut safer.

“One of our people broke her hand – she’s about 60-year-old,” he said. “It’s dangerous, especially when it rains like this.”

While Di Ciano noted that the initial high estimates for the project also included guard rail cutting and changes to the parking lot, “the point was made.”

“There’s a lot that goes into it,” he said. “We all understand that something like this is more than a $500 fix.

“There are other ways of looking at it in terms of making it right without putting all these extravagant plans in place.”

He added that Astl’s stairs hit home the point that “when you spend the public’s money how you go about spending it is very important.”

Di Ciano said while people need to understand that as a rule, they cannot put up structures on city property without permission, Astl will not be charged for the removal of the steps he built

He said a solution for the site is expected in the coming weeks.