City sees overwhelming opposition to parkland plan

When Kim Code learned the city was proposing to sell off park land she said she felt sick to her stomach.

When Kim Code learned the city was proposing to sell off park land she said she felt sick to her stomach.

Her Moon Avenue home backs onto Patrick Reid Park on Boundary Street — one of five parks the city is considering selling to raise funds to develop the River Valley trail system.

“We love it here, we don’t want to move from where we live,” Code said Wednesday evening. “I couldn’t sleep that night and the next day started a petition because it was a way to see if other people were on board with me that this is the wrong thing to do.”

Her petition as of Wednesday evening had 204 signatures.

Code also went around her neighborhood, knocking on doors, encouraging people to attend the city’s open house about the parkland disposal on May 12 at city hall.

About 60 people attended, she said.

Of the many who spoke to the proposal only one person was in favour.

The other parks considered for sale are Johnston Street, Beauchamp, Twelfth Avenue and Gibbon Street and Code spoke out in favour of all the parks.

Developing the River Valley trail from the Stampede Grounds is a good plan, but the city should be going after more grant funding instead of selling off parks, Code said.

Coun. Scott Nelson spoke at the end of the open house, saying he did not support the process of eliminating parkland and green space within the community and had campaigned on the issue.

“It’s absolute craziness,” Nelson told the Tribune Wednesday. “We need to change the parks master plan and pull that out that we’re going to sell parkland and green space.”

Scott said amenities, such as picnic tables and garbage cans, need to be put back into the parks along with proper signage.

People who missed the meeting can still provide feedback on the plan up until May 24, 2016, said city planner Chris Hutton.

Feedback forms are available at city hall and the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, as well as on the city’s website www.williamslake.ca.

“Staff will gather the input to prepare a report to go back to council in the next month,” Hutton said. “Council will then decide whether to halt or proceed with the process.”

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