June 24, 2014 - 9:25 PM
KELOWNA – It’s a perfect place for a public park, wouldn't cost much and councillors love the idea—but Munson Pond will not open to the public any time soon.
Munson Pond is roughly three hectares of city-owned property, hidden from view by cottonwood trees on the corner of KLO Road and Benvoulin Rd. Kelowna City councillors want to make it a public park, but has no budget for the $250,000 price tag.
“Where is the money?” asked Coun. Robert Hobson, saying the proposal isn't a priority if it's not in the Capital Plan.
Parks planner Barb Davidson said the city is looking at partnerships, perhaps with the Central Okanagan Land Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to preservation of natural lands and habitat.
“The Land Trust is not going to pay $120,000 to build a trail,” Hobson says. “There is going to be a significant funding gap… even if we do get a partnership.”
The city bought the 9.8-hectare plot of land in 2005 and leases it to three tenants. The preliminary plans presented to council want to remove or demolish the house and mobile home currently on the property and open the land to the public as a park. Plans include a gravel trail around the pond, pedestrian bridge over a tributary, signage, bird viewing platforms, blinds and eight parking stalls.
Coun. Luke Stack says he is impressed with how cheap the project is, especially given the price tag of some other park projects, and hopes the idea is revisited again by council as soon as possible.
“We’re opening up 13.6 hectares of usable space,” he says. “I know it’s not in the plan but I’m very excited to think that $250,000 in the near future could advance it. I’m looking forward to seeing how we might reprioritize next year.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014