Esquimalt Township staff and council prepare for the Ideas Fair, a successful first step in the engagement process, consulting with the community on how to spend the $17 million in amenity funds the municipality is receiving for the construction of the McLoughlin Point wastewater treatment facility. Twitter

Esquimalt Township staff and council prepare for the Ideas Fair, a successful first step in the engagement process, consulting with the community on how to spend the $17 million in amenity funds the municipality is receiving for the construction of the McLoughlin Point wastewater treatment facility. Twitter

Esquimalt ‘Ideas Fair’ a full house

First step in engaging with community on $17 million in wastewater amenity funds

The first instalment in the engagement process to decide how to spend $17 million in the Township of Esquimalt was a resounding success.

The money – amenity funds from the McLoughlin Point wastewater treatment plant project – is to be spent in three distinct categories, for: waterfront parks, recreation facilities and public safety facilities.

The Township hosted an Ideas Fair on Feb. 22, a casual information session where city staff and council were on hand to discuss with residents and others what the community thinks the money is best put toward.

RELATED: Esquimalt launches engagement process for wastewater amenity funds

Mayor Barb Desjardins called the evening “from every account a success, a beginning.”

Over 150 people attended, after a line-up out the door kept the open house busy until well after the 7 p.m. scheduled finish. Roughly 115 people provided input, filling out forms for municipal staff to consult, most of them “within the parameters we’re looking for,” Desjardins said. “This is the community’s money,” she pointed out, adding she and council are looking forward to seeing common themes.

“We have to be really careful expectations and we have to be careful about managing fiscally as well,” she said. “It’s wonderful to have that money and I don’t know another community that has it, but we don’t want to saddle the community with extra costs for getting money.”

In addition to the Ideas Fair, “idea walls” are now installed at the library, recreation centre and municipal hall where residents can put pen to paper with their thoughts. An online survey is also available at Esquimalt.ca.

The consultation process will continue through the year, past the Oct. 20 municipal election and when all the information is compiled, it will be presented to the incoming council.

kristyn. anthony@vicnews.com