2. The South End Community has a vision of creating parks space that is sadly lacking in the area. If elected how would you support and initiate the possible acquisition by the City of Nanaimo of either the properties at 901 & 925 Harbourview St. or 101 South St. for use as public parklands in the South End Neighbourhood?
Parks are vital for health, a sense of well-being in the community, air quality, and more. The city could do more to purchase properties, although finding the money is always an issue. Working with non-profits such as NALT (Nanaimo and Area Land Trust) and developers may help to stretch the funds. Community involvement in the actual creation of park-land once the property is secured would be a task SECA is up to! See Issue #4 at my website.
I calculate that the combined total of these properties is 25 acres. At $500K per acre that works out to about $6 Million per parcel. I would first investigate the communities ability to raise those funds, how they would propose to do so, and what kind of time frame we would have to work with.
I agree that the South End needs more parks space, especially on the waterfront. I would try to ensure that at least one of those properties is high on the priority list of potential park acquisitions identified by the Parks, Recreation, and Culture Commission.
Neighbourhood Associations should be given assistance to develop public-private and non-profit partnerships to derive the funding for such badly needed projects that don’t easily fit into every taxpayers priority list. SECA could be a model for this kind of initiative in Nanaimo.
I do agree that park space in the south end of Nanaimo is currently insufficient for a healthy community. I am not familiar with the properties that you list as possible public parklands, but if elected, I would certainly investigate any opportunity for their acquisition by the CON.
As you know it is often much more palatable for the rest of the taxpayers if the area closest to these parks could somehow raise a portion of the funds for such a purchase. I know that this would be difficult, but as a recent purchaser of the 2 houses on Crace Street I would be glad to help with any fundraising efforts.