Letter: CSRD’s proposed field acquisition prompts questions

Writer shares proposed alternative to purchase of Centennial Field

I am opposed to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s plan to purchase Centennial Field from Shuswap Lake Estates Ltd. and Shuswap West Developers Ltd. for $750,000 more than the professionally appraised price of $2,006,000.

There is a need for more park space in Area C but at what price to the taxpayer? Does the CSRD require these developers to set aside land for parks or to contribute to a fund for park development?

A few years ago, the CSRD commissioned a survey seeking input from Area C residents on the need for park space. Subsequently, a meeting was held locally, chaired by Mr. (Paul) Demenok, to present a report on survey results and to seek further public input.

Following the meeting, which I attended, Mr. Jack Barker spoke to some of us who had been present. He proposed that he would be willing to donate Centennial Field to the CSRD for a public park. His only request was that the CSRD relocate a portion of Blind Bay road currently on the waterfront to the rear of Centennial Field. Mr. Barker’s proposal included detailed plans and drawings, including cost estimates for relocation of the road portion. His plan would then make Centennial Field a waterfront park with the possible inclusion of a swimming area and day use picnic area, thus increasing safety for park users. Mr. Barker wanted to present his plan at the meeting but said that he was not permitted to do so. Area residents should have been informed of Mr. Barker’s generous proposal.

Now we are left to wonder about the acquisition process of Centennial Field and to find forms to register our opposition to this purchase which, to date, have not been available, yet the submission deadline has already been published.

Surely ethical governance practices must not only be done but be seen to be done!

Read more: Column: Community parks benefit health and economy

Read more: CSRD to seek public assent to borrow $1.77 million for park purchase

Read more: Letter: Centennial Field purchase will add to tax burden

Michael Lanting

Blind Bay

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