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”.