by Dave Preston
Some council members questioned Tuesday the purpose and format of an upcoming public open house on a proposed skateboard park.
District staff has put together an open house with design company Newline Skate Parks for Wednesday, June 20. It is being billed as an opportunity for the public, and especially skateboarders, to give input into a skateboard park at Lambly Park.
Peachland council has already voted that Lambly Park is the location for the facility, but confusion in town has been apparent over whether the public will have an opportunity to give their opinions on the Lambly Park concept.
Coun. Peter Schierbeck said at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting that he hopes locale will be something that the public will be consulted on.
“This is what we indicated we would be open to,” said Schierbeck.
Although he thinks Lambly Park is the best location for a skate park, Schierbeck said he is open to being convinced otherwise.
Schierbeck reiterated that if public consultation is going to be held, it should be about the location and not just about design.
Mayor Keith Fielding noted he made a statement on May 8 that read in part, “If technical analysis should reveal Lambly Park to be unsuitable, or results in a better option being identified (i.e. one that better optimizes relevant selection criteria) the matter will of course be reconsidered.”
Cheryl Wiebe, who is spearheading the project for the district, confirmed that next Wednesday’s open house is primarily about design.
Coun. Cindy Fortin said she wonders how much what the public says about location will hold if the decision has already been made to put the skate park in Lambly Park.
Fortin showed concern about another issue related to the skate park.
“I think we’ve jumped the gun giving the contract to Newline,” said Fortin, adding she thinks the contract should have gone out to tender.
“I personally think there are more negatives to Lambly Park than Cousins Park,” said Coun. Eldon Kerbes.