Nanaimo city council approved three staff recommendations to spend a total of $69,000 to address safety at public spaces including Comox Park. NEWS BULLETIN file

City approves $69K for security and cleanup at parks

The City of Nanaimo will ensure security and needle sweeps at Comox Park can continue year-round

Nanaimo city council will ensure that security and needle sweeps at Comox Park can continue year-round.

At a meeting Monday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, council approved three staff recommendations to spend a total of $69,000 to address safety at parks and public spaces.

The recommendations came after concerns were raised in recent weeks about needles and other messes left behind regularly at Comox Park next to École Pauline Haarer. Councillors, at their March 12 committee of the whole meeting, had asked staff to meet with Nanaimo school district to discuss cleanups and security at shared spaces.

RELATED: Homeless activity leads to more security and cleanups at schools

“Our parks department, our bylaws staff, RCMP and the school [district] have been meeting quite regularly, specifically to deal with Pauline Haarer School, Comox Park and other areas,” said fire chief Karen Fry, the city’s director of public safety.

City bylaws staff walks through the park daily, but the city’s parks and rec department, which has been performing sweeps of the park twice a day, wasn’t going to be able to continue to do so due to increased maintenance duties in the spring and summer months.

Fry’s report, presented to council Monday, recommended that the city allot $24,000 to share the cost, with the school district, of a security guard to watch over the school and park, and $45,000 for one and a half full-time-equivalent seasonal workers to conduct park sweeps, needle pickup and cleanups at 10-12 hot spots including Comox, Maffeo Sutton and Nob Hill parks.

“Not only would they be doing the sweeps, they would be helping look after graffiti, they would be helping look after picking up trash that the homeless leave behind that we’re currently calling out contractors to maintain,” said Al Britton, the city’s manager of parks operations.

Fry’s report also recommended that Comox Park be added to existing day and night security patrols, a no-cost initiative.

Coun. Bill Bestwick spoke in favour of the spending, noting that council had approved $350,000 for spending to address homelessness and saying he supported matching funding for parks safety measures.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

OPINION: It’s important that we exercise our right to vote

If we vote for a competent and collaborative council, the Hub City will thrive, says guest columnist

Discontent City can remain where it is until the end of next month

B.C. Supreme Court judge grants application for an extension to comply with injunction

Clippers bounce back and beat Eagles

Nanaimo defeats Surrey 6-2, next home game is this Sunday, Oct. 21

SD68 candidates make last pitch prior to election

Nanaimo Duncan and District Labour Council hosted a meet-and-greet for prospective school trustees

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: So much for ‘say no to drugs’ in Canada

I’m from the ‘users are losers’ generation, says letter writer

UPDATE: Shots fired at house during fight in Nanaimo

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say RCMP

Candidate lists finalized for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Nomination deadline passes in advance of Oct. 20 local government elections

Election 2018: candidate questionnaires

News Bulletin’s questionnaire responses for Nanaimo, Lantzville, school board, regional district

When to vote, where to vote, how to vote

Voting day is Oct. 20, with polls open 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 18

To submit a beef or bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Most Read