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.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Fatality at highway crash in Nanoose Bay Friday afternoon

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

Students celebrate new indigenous garden

Garden teaches students about traditional uses of local plants

School district changes mind, won’t cut community school coordinators

Budget initiatives proposed for next school year

Nanaimo region receives $700,000 in federal support for summer jobs

Funding for Nanaimo-Ladysmith up $74,000 from last year

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision in last B.C. election

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Horgan speaks of government’s successes to ‘friends’ at CUPE BC convention

CUPE BC president Paul Faoro said was first time a B.C. premier addressed convention in some time

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

RCMP investigate sexual assault in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating a reported sexual assault April 11

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

Most Read