June 18, 2016 - 2:30 PM
RESIDENTS OFFER TO RAISE MONEY, GET GRANTS TO SPEED UP DEVELOPMENT
KELOWNA - Residents anxious to see a park built in their neighbourhood are pushing the city to speed its development by offering to put some money towards it.
Lost Creek neighbourhood park in the Wilden subdivision is right now a .21 hectare piece of undeveloped land west of Upper Canyon Drive, one of at least a dozen undeveloped parks in the city, according to parks planning manager Robert Parlane in a report to council.
What makes this park different is local residents have joined forces and approached the city with their own plan for the park, Parlane says, and have even convinced Blenk Development Corp. to chip in 25 per cent of the estimated $400,000 cost.
Parlance says staff routinely pursue partnerships with developers of new subdivisions, hoping to persuade them to put up half of a park’s development cost, but some refuse having already paid for the land under the park through development cost charges.
The city does not have a specific funding program for park development.
After meetings with residents, parks staff are recommending an agreement where the city covers half the cost and the developer and residents jointly cover the other half, allowing some flexibility and the opportunity to apply for grants and do their own fundraising.
Parlane notes the city’s $200,000 share of the proposed Lost Creek park development is not budgeted in the 2030 infrastructure plan and if an agreement is reached with the residents, it could mean the deferal of other parks projects.
The agreement, should council eventually approve it, must be processed as a regular capital request and will be subject to assessment along with other parks capital requests, he notes.
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