General News · 31st May 2014
Public Meeting – Tuesday, June 17th, 7 pm - Gorge Hall
The Regional District has been working on this purchase out of the public eye for years. The board has opened this matter to the public to reconnect with local sentiment before making our final decisions. We are checking back in. What do you think?
This has been a long road… The Whaletown Commons Society has been working toward this park for close to 20 years and I am the third Regional Director to hold this priority. This piece of land is of value to the community because it is both ecologically important and also connects three Whaletown sub-neighborhoods. The Whaletown Commons would be the first formal and permanent park in the Whaletown/Gorge area.
Some financial facts and implications:
The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) has professionally appraised the value of the Whaletown Commons to be $826,000 ($475,000 for the timber and $351,000 for land). We are in, what I hope to be the final stages of negotiations. The Regional District has over $571,000 in reserve that we are prepared to contribute to this purchase. These reserves have been built up since 2004 with your property taxes, private donations and cash contributions required through subdivisions.
The Waheltown Commons Society has committed to contributing about $60,000, most of which they already have in hand or in pledges. They have offered their full and unanimous support for proceeding with this purchase as presented and are committed to revitalize their fundraising efforts. The SRD and Whaletown Commons Society funds combined make up about 75% of the anticipated purchase price.
The remaining estimated 25% required to complete this purchase (approximately $200,000) will need to be borrowed by the SRD, if not fundraised locally. Our goal is to pay the debt off in 5 years.
It is important to underline that this park would be purchased as a green space – and a green space only. What becomes of it in the future will be up to the community and the limitations of the covenant.
Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 17th at 7 pm at the Gorge Hall. Russ Hotsenpiller, the senior administrator with the Strathcona Regional District and I will be there to share information, answer your questions and receive your feedback.
What do you think? directorcortesisland.com or 250-935-0320.
Whaletown Commons Map