Parksville Fire Department proposes ‘pop-up’ water parks

Council briefs: New pickleball courts could also soon be on their way

Parksville Volunteer Fire Department chief Marc Norris received council’s endorsement to hold pop-up water parks throughout the summer to create a spot for kids to cool off.

The fire department would spray water from an aerial ladder truck or other department pump trucks.

Norris said the water parks would be a beneficial way for the fire department to engage with citizens, show off their fire equipment and recruit new members.

“We have four paid staff and 40 volunteers, so we are always looking for volunteers,” Norris said. “It’s also a chance to do public education, teach fire safety, cool people off and have a little bit of fun.”

Norris said he doesn’t expect the water parks to use much water and he hopes to hold between two and four events this summer.

Council gave approval for the Parksville Fire Department to hold pop-up waterparks throughout the summer at the discretion of the fire chief.

RELATED: Parksville council notes: Affordable housing units proposed

Springwood park pickleball courts

Springwood Park should soon see new pickleball courts.

A resolution originally came before council in 2017 to design and construct pickleball courts in Springwood Park. City acting director of engineering Joe Doxey said the engineering design was estimated to be $120,000 and bids came in at $80, 534.

“We have re-tendered [the project] successfully to get somebody to come in within budget for the design portion of this project,” Doxey said. “We’re recommending a little bit of contingency allowance that would allow for some more detailed, if need be, geotechnical investigation.”

Doxey said the resolution called for the pickleball courts to be installed near the dog park where “there’s a fair amount of slope and tree canopy,” but staff will investigate more options.

Doxey said a time frame for construction to be complete is hard to tell at this point and it depends on the site.

“It could be as little as two months to construct if it’s in a flat area, but could take a bit longer if there’s more significant geotechnical improvements required,” he said.

RELATED: Stilwell offers Parksville assistance with mental health resources, provincial funding

Retegno Park landscaping plans

Council directed staff to alter the drainage and landscaping at Retegno Park, a pocket park between Parklink Place and Retegno Avenue.

The current level of service for the park includes trimming along the pathway and headwall as needed and mobilizing once a year to remove invasive plants such as broom. Common weeds such as dandelion, thistle and grasses growing through these beds are purposefully left.

Council voted unanimously to have staff remove the ditch and existing plantings in the park, grade to a new catch basin, establish lawn, plant trees and irrigate.

“What we have to bear in mind here is the fact that we made a developer put $85,00 into this park and it didn’t work. The ditch hasn’t had an ounce of water in it since the day it was dug,” said Parksville mayor Ed Mayne. “We don’t have the staff to go in there with a hand lawnmower and cut around all these plants and do all the work. We’ve made the mistake and why should the people in the area have to put up with it.”

City CAO Keeva Kehler said the city estimates the capitol cost will be $35,000 with an annual maintenance cost of $2,000. She said since the work is not budgeted for in the 2019 budget, staff could bring it to council in the fall and make it a priority for early 2020.

New business

Coun. Al Greir provided notice he would introduce a motion regarding consultation and an Official Community Plan and zoning amendment bylaw to facilitate an affordable housing development on City-owned property at 130 Shelly Rd.

Coun. Marilyn Wilson provided notice she would introduce a motion regarding the location of future Council meetings.

“I’d like to make a notice of motion that all council meetings be held in the forum at city hall in order that they are video recorded,” Wilson said. “It provides a means for staff to review the meetings to ensure that any errors in note taking can be corrected. It is more efficient and cost-effective to have the meetings at city hall.”

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