Clock Park

This is the second of two articles sent in by David Daniels. It will appear in the next issue of Mud Creek News.

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH CLOCK  PARK

The agenda for the November 16th meeting states that Town Council will be giving consideration to accepting an agreement from Irving Oil regarding the donation of Clock Park property to the Town of Wolfville for use as a park space.”

Before the Town Council accepts this property which is centrally located in the Town, there should be a full public airing of the relevant issues.

The fact that the Town Council may have approved this project in principle many years ago, should in no way limit the Town’s decision at this time.  Circumstances change.

Is the Town’s acquisition of the Clock Park property consistent with the Town’s new “Core Principles,” in particular, fiscal responsibility?

According to the Property Valuations Services Corporation website, the parcel is assessed at $277,200 in 2009.  How much in tax revenue will the Town be giving up if it accepts the property?

Although Irving Oil is willing to donate the land to the Town, are there other costs involved?  I recall Councilor Zimmerman stating on a number of occasions that although the Irving Centre was a gift to Acadia University, that it did not come with an endowment to pay for the maintenance of the gift.  Will Irving Oil be providing funds to the Town to maintain the park?

$125,000.00 remains in the reserve fund to construct the Clock Park.  Given the limits on capital reserve spending, must all that money be spent on landscaping a park?

Are there restrictions, due to environmental factors, on Irving Oil’s use of the land?  If the land is restricted to use as a park or passive recreation, perhaps the Town should allow Irving Oil to retain the land, negotiate for residents to use it as a park, and give Irving Oil a tax break.

To my knowledge, this matter has not been considered by the Recreation and Parks Planning Advisory Committee?  If not, why not?

Finally, as far as I am aware, the public has had no recent opportunity to provide its input on this key decision.  A core principle of the newly adopted Corporate Strategic Plan is “transparency and participatory government”.

Advertisements

9 responses to “Clock Park

  1. former resident of the town

    When Irving donated (?) the land to the town, it was generally understood that:
    since Irving never gives anything away
    therefore, there was something wrong with the land.
    We concluded that Irving did not want to spend money removing oil from the earth.
    Bob Stead came to the January meeting of the Wolfville Historical Society – I’m not certain of the year – to ask members to donate to the land and/or to the park. This was inappropriate because the society had enough problems raising money for the museum.
    I am glad you are concerned about who will pay for the year to year expenses of the park. Acadia is probably wishing it had done so when Irving built the Irving Centre.

  2. It’d be a handy location for a bit more parking… It’s not all that difficult to combine garden and parking-lot to get a nice effect. Perhaps we should send Council on a junket to the Central Coast (NSW Australia) to get a feel for what could be done? I’d be happy to go along for the ride and show them the best spots!

  3. YES a parking lot would be a great use of the land. With the Farmers Market planning to take over the old DeWolf building they will need many more parking spaces. They have taken so much already why not give this “community event” a little more, they may even allow the people who shop outside the FM to use some of the spaces, after all they are the ones who are probably paying for them…just saying.

  4. Our “former resident” is dead right — one must be mindful of on-going costs.

    The Irving Center has a “wow factor” that, perhaps arguably, justifies its up-keep. I don’t see that Clock Park could ever play a similar role for Wolfville.

    With the Farmers Market moving to the DeWolfe building, I figure that the business community (or “Farm Marketeers”) might like to purchase a cheap bit of dirt for parking space.

  5. Purchase? And have to pay tax on it? Now there’s a novel idea. But isn’t it more lucrative to dip into the taxpayer’s pocket?

  6. When the old DeWolfe building was torn down, it left a large place to park. The sad part is that it has never been paved. The good part is that I can always find a parking place there where the
    biggest puddles are.

    The clock park could be fenced or trellised around
    the outside, some wisteria planted along the trellis work and some trees put inside and used for parking hybrid cars only. Limit the number
    and charge for parking. The fee could be paid
    in advance for X number of days at the town hall.
    or a card, similar to a telephone card could be
    purchased nearby at the bookstore.

    But for heaven’s sake pave or gravel the places
    that need it. The town does such a wonderful
    job of hanging flower baskets, just continue with
    the jobs of landscaping the public areas. Wolfville is such a beautiful town, it should only
    get better.

    • Betty I think you are confusing 2 different lots. The one next to”Subway” is owned by Acadia University. The “Clock Park” was given to TOW by Irving. Both are eyesores..no doubt about it but both TOW and Acadia seem to more interested in giving handouts to needy entereprises see “Farmers’ Market” housed (sheltered) under their roof at taxpayers expense rather than maintaining and developing what we already have .

  7. I am often confused, but I am not confused about the parking areas in town as I use them almost every day. There are lots of places to
    park.
    We get cranky if we can’t park directly in front
    of the store we are going into. We get used to it!
    Whoever “owns” land should maintain it
    otherwise it becomes an eyesore very quickly.

    Whoever “lives” in a town should try to take part
    in keeping it maintained and clean in whatever way they can.
    Without maintenance, everything decays.

  8. Quite right Betty. Tell that to TOW and Acadia U. Instead of embarking on ambitious new projects at taxpayers’ expense , we should be more concerned in looking after and maintaining what we have (read ,our roads and utilities) rather than funding and subsidising new projects (read, Elm street and Dewolfe “Market” warehouse , Patterson Hall renovations) which in the long run may prove to be costly and unsustainable.