Mayor’s Message: Amenity funds focused on parks, recreation, public safety

Esquimalt has some cash to spend from hosting sewage treatment plant

In January 2017 the Capital Regional District and Township of Esquimalt came to an agreement on an amenities package associated with locating a wastewater treatment facility within the municipality at McLoughlin Point.

A one-time contribution of $17 million from the CRD – the McLoughlin Point Amenity Reserve Funds – will be used for capital projects in waterfront parks, recreation facilities and a public safety facility.

The contribution, which is to be spent within the next five years, is not to be used for projects outside of these categories and may not be used to leverage other funds. The funds should be seen as an investment in the future that will benefit youth, seniors and the wider community.

Within this framework, we will be leading a robust public engagement process over the next several months, beginning with an Ideas Fair in council chambers on Thursday, Feb. 22. A consulting firm has been hired to assist with this process and I very much look forward to seeing the ideas put forward by residents. This process provides an opportunity for residents to come together in a collaborative setting and connect with their community and its future.

This engagement process is happening as other key initiatives and developments in the Township are moving ahead, including updating the Official Community Plan, which will be completed this spring. In addition, work continues on Esquimalt Town Square and a number of new high density housing developments are also progressing. The landscape of Esquimalt is changing in so many positive ways.

There is an air of optimism and vitality in the community, creating a fertile environment for creative ideas to be nurtured, developed and acted upon. It is against this backdrop that we are asking residents for their input into how the McLoughlin Point Amenity Reserve Funds should be spent.

In addition to the Ideas Fair mentioned above, residents, businesses, user groups and community stakeholders can participate in an Ideas Wall, online survey and stakeholder workshop. The engagement process will run from February through October.

Stay tuned to the Township’s social media pages and visit esquimalt.ca for further details and to find out more about this exciting initiative.

Barb Desjardins is the mayor of Esquimalt.

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