City council has decided not to sell any parkland in Williams Lake.
Earlier this spring city council announced it was considering selling five small parks and would use the funds to improve the River Valley Trail system.
However, during the public consultation period on the plan, council heard loudly and clearly the community was not interested in the parks being sold.
Coun. Ivan Bonnell said there were also suggestions from the public about bringing back amenities that had been removed from the parks.
“We’re going to go back to committee and look at what we are going to do with those parks, but we are not going to sell them,” Bonnell said.
Coun. Scott Nelson wants the decision to go even further. He wants the parks master plan changed to say the city will not sell any parks or green spaces.
“The majority of people who provided feedback made it clear they didn’t want it on the books,” Nelson said. “I suggest we take it out so that people feel more comfortable.”
Director of development Leah Hartley said the plan itself does not obligate the city implement any of its recommendations.
“You do not need to change the plan to abandon this initiative,” Hartley added. “You explored it, you choose to abandon it, you simply declare this council is not proceeding with it.”
Coun. Laurie Walters was on city council when the parks master plan was completed and said at the time it was felt the parks were being underutilized.
“The value of the last meeting we had with the public was very valuable to me and I learned a lot from that,” Walters said. “There are a lot of things in that plan that I suspect won’t be done.”