Well it seems we are starting to hear from those in favour of the lease of parkland to private developers.
Members of council must be encouraging those who have “expressed their approval” to start a letter writing campaign and I wonder if we will soon see a letter from the councilor’s child, who we know is already in favour of the waterslide as previously discussed at the kitchen table.
I am not at all in favour of selling or leasing public lands to developers as once that parkland is gone, it is gone forever and no amount of monies paid through annual lease payments will replace the lands lost.
Skaha Lake Park is a wonderful city asset as it is; always busy with people enjoying the area in a multitude of recreational pursuits. Why encourage privately held commercial development on park land?
As a business person in town, I would love to have an acre or two of beach front property handed to me to develop a for-profit business. Perhaps once the water park is built, I can approach city hall to have a hectare of land next to the sand volleyball courts leased to me, for an annual amount based on expected profits, to construct a putting course complete with lake front restaurant and maybe even cold beer and wine sales.
Given that we once had a putting course in town there must be a need, even if the previous course went out of business due to lack of use. Golf is a favourite pastime of many and our golfing season is quite long, so I am certain that I can generate a share of profits for the city for at least six months of the year, double the time that a waterslide is likely to operate.
Once I get that venture up and running, I would like a portion of Okanagan Lake Park leased to me to construct another business; I do not have a concrete idea for this second business yet, but since we can talk behind closed doors for a couple of years prior to it being publicly announced, I am confident that a good idea will come to me while we discuss the lease.
Now that the door has been opened, where will council draw the line for park land development?
Are we to lose more park land to private business because someone has the right contacts at city hall?
Council needs to rescind their decision now and stop the waterslide development before it happens.
Let local businesses compete on an even-footing by developing on private land, not land owned by the taxpayers of the city.