The outdated water park in Parksville Community Park will be removed at the end of the summer in preparation for construction of new equipment for the 2018 season. Lauren Collins photo

The outdated water park in Parksville Community Park will be removed at the end of the summer in preparation for construction of new equipment for the 2018 season. Lauren Collins photo

Parksville to replace water park

Construction to begin in fall for re-opening in 2018

Outdated equipment no longer up to provincial safety standards will lead to a new water park being constructed at Parksville’s Community Park for the 2018 summer season.

And, thanks to a bit of creative scheduling, nobody has to miss out on the fun this year.

“The water park will remain open this summer, and as soon as the season’s over, the work on the new park will begin in the fall,” Mayor Marc Lefebvre said as the City of Parksville hosted the first two of three scheduled public consultation meetings on its 2017-2021 budget bylaw.

The new water park will carry a price tag of $225,000, which will be offset by a $100,000 contribution by the Parksville Lions Club, according to the draft budget shared during the consultation.

Resident Doug O’Brien said any new water park should include the installation of cisterns that would collect the runoff and re-purpose the water for irrigation within the park.

“I believe it’s prudent to cancel this until the Community Park master plan is completed, and we can work in a cistern system to conserve that water.”

Mike Squire, the city’s manager of operations, said cisterns are being planned for the park.

“We’re looking at it as an overall park plan,” said Squire. “There are a lot of users there that want access to certain areas. We want to get public engagement and input to determine where (cisterns) can best be situated.”

Squire added that with a construction plan set for completion in 2018, there is still time to factor cisterns into the project without delaying the start of the replacement work on the water park.

The discussion spanned the special budget meetings of March 15 and March 29. The third budget consultation meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 10, beginning at 6 p.m. in council chambers at the Forum in Parksville.

In other water-related news, the city learned between the first two special meetings that it has received a $5.6 million Canada Infrastructure grant from the federal government. Pam Lovegrove, manager of finance, presented the budget update to council and noted the majority of the grant funding would go toward scheduled upgrades of the Springwood water transmission mains.

“This funding is now included in the budget,” Lovegrove said. “Based on that, we’ve reduced other funding sources that were there. What this does is increase our reserves in the water fund; for the next five years we’re in the black.”