ny reports of the impending death of downtown Parksville due to development near the new health centre have been greatly exaggerated.
One has to salute the Parksville Downtown Business Association (PDBA), or at least its president Michelle Jones, for a progressive attitude.
We have listened to some alarmist comments from sky-is-falling residents and politicians alike who want to sound the death knell for the downtown because the health centre is being built where it is and Quality Foods is building a flagship store in the same area (QF has also said it will be keeping its downtown store open). Logic would dictate other, complementary businesses would also open shop in the area of the health centre and new food store. There are also numerous residential projects on the books for the abutting lands.
The PDBA represents approximately 270 business in an area bordered by McMillan and McVickers, Jensen and the water. There are approximately 140 property owners who fund the PDBA through an annual levy. That mandatory tax — property owners cannot opt out — raises about $150,000/year for the PDBA.
How the PDBA spends that money, or questions about its relevance and raison d’être are discussions for another time. On this issue of the new business hub near the health centre, the PDBA is coming across as mature, community-minded and not a friend of Chicken Little.
“Any economic development within the city boundary is good for the downtown core,” says Jones. “We have talked about it at the board level and we don’t think we will come out against any economic development outside of the downtown.”
Cheers to the PDBA. And we hope any politicians or residents who want to negatively spin the developments at the southern gateway of the city take note of the progressive attitude of the organization which represents the people and businesses that would be most affected by this growth.
— editorial by John Harding