Pitt Meadows council has approved building its own RCMP detachment. A local resident wants the public to voice opposition. (Special to The News)

Pitt Meadows council has approved building its own RCMP detachment. A local resident wants the public to voice opposition. (Special to The News)

LETTER: Letter writer encourages public to oppose new Pitt Meadows RCMP building

Existing amenities will be lost if site turned into stand-alone detachment, resident writes

Dear Editor,

I have submitted a previous opinion regarding the City of Pitt Meadows pushing ahead with plans to build a new, purpose built, $18 million plus facility in Pitt Meadows beside Harris Road Park that will solely serve this community (upon approval by the provincial government, no doubt keeping an eye on site approval by citizens).

I maintain my opinion which is echoed by some other residents, that we should not be spending such an enormous amount of money on a brand new facility for a detachment of our own (complete with jail), and should either renovate and extend the facility we have now next to city hall, or work with Maple Ridge to expand the detachment there and have a ‘seat at the table’ to obtain the manpower and hours needed to provide extra service hours to our city of 19,717 (2020).

Pitt Meadows is now seeking voters’ approval for this location, or actually, non-approval (“a No vote”), by way of a Park Designation Amendment Bylaw No. 2892, 2021 which if it goes forward, would allow them to remove a large percentage of the parking lot at Harris Road Park and Heritage Community Hall, the large brick building that houses sports equipment (and was a concession stand), as well as impacting the baseball diamond.

These changes to parkland will affect Harris Road Park and Heritage Hall, its enjoyment and usefulness in the community.

Because it is not on ‘parkland’, the city had not made clear on the website that the art gallery would be removed as well to make room for this new building. By pointing out this need for clarification, the city has now committed to amending their webpage to include the information that the gallery would be demolished if the new building goes ahead (indicating that they will “work with the arts community to relocate the gallery”).

By use of this alternative approval process, it will require 10 per cent of all eligible voters (at least 1,431 as indicated by the city) to say ‘no’ to parkland removal by filling out the elector response form on the city’s ‘Opportunities for Voting’ webpage and submit it to city hall by 4:30 p.m on June 28, 2021.

Other than ‘positive spin’ reporting on this locally, I have seen no devil’s advocate reporting.

Such as where will all of the patrons of this active sports field, hall usage, and parkland park?

This is the epicentre of Pitt Meadows Day, garnering hundreds if not thousands of festival goers. Ball tournaments of all sorts use this field. The spray park, pool, skatepark and playground are a huge draw.

What is the plan here? Will they insist on sticking the fledgling gallery in behind the municipal buildings in old RCMP offices? (Galleries die out of sight, out of mind).

Please go to the Pitt Meadows City webpage, get informed and if you don’t agree with removal of parkland, disruption of the ability to enjoy our major park, heritage hall and gallery, not to mention spending $18 million on a purpose built state of the art RCMP facility plus future running costs and manpower, download the PDF (or get a copy at city hall) and vote.

This is an ‘acceptance by lack of votes against’ situation.

So get informed and get voting.

Darlene Mercer, Pitt Meadows

.

• READ MORE: Pitt Meadows council approves new RCMP detachment

• READ MORE: Ridge Meadows RCMP release new strategic plan


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