Mariner’s Park playground has become nearly unusable due to safety concerns. Despite the Prince Rupert Lions Club raising $100

Tick tock, the tot park waits for city approval

$100,000 raised to fix dilapidated Mariner’s Park playground mired in red tape processes

Twenty-three years ago, the Lions Club gave the city the wooden playground equipment for Mariner’s Park and this year they are ready to replace the aged toys with a shiny new playground.

Ready to write a cheque for the equipment — ideally by spring, hopefully by summer — the Lions Club has been told to wait for the city to adopt its 2017 budget in mid-May.

However, budgeting the removal of the old park and the installation of the new park may be a moot point if the project is a pure volunteer effort said Ken Lippett, the secretary treasurer of the CMAW Local Union 1735 Construction Prince Rupert.

“As long as it’s 100 per cent volunteers and it’s organized, we can find people but we need assurances,” Lippett said, adding that just because the carpenters union is giving free labour doesn’t mean the engineer or cement driver still gets paid.

The carpenters union organized five or six unemployed members to volunteer their time to build the structure around the Kazu Maru Memorial at Mariner’s Park. Lippett said that when the carpenters found out that their in-kind service enabled the electrician to get paid, they walked away.

“It’s the assumption that we’re there to be taken advantage of,” he said. But if everyone is on board to donate their time, the union can find people to do the work.

In the past six months the Lions Club has raised $100,000 for the playground equipment. Fundraising efforts include the most recent Blue Knuckle Derby and other ticket sales over the past year.

“Half the existing structure has been removed because of safety concerns and it’s not really a function of the park anymore. We know there’s lots of demand in town for a kids tot park,” Paul Rajandram of the Prince Rupert Lions Club said.

The vision for the new park is to expand its size by 15 per cent and to incorporate accessible toys for children with mobility challenges. Pea gravel will be replaced with a rubberized surface.

The park will have a nautical theme to enhance the harbour view. The location is one of the first viewpoints for tourists once they leave their cruise ship.

The Lions Club has already met with the city works department for preliminary planning and the mayor provided a letter of support when the club applied for community funding from the Port of Prince Rupert.

“We’ve asked the city for removal of the existing structure and installation of the new structures,” Rajandram said.

In response to whether or not the city will support the project, and in time for warmer weather, the city stuck to its budget timeline.

“Funding commitments are not made until the 2017 budget is adopted by council in mid-May, so it would be premature to comment on this project prior to then,” Veronika Stewart said, the communications manager for the City of Prince Rupert.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Province restricts non-resident travel to Haida Gwaii amid COVID outbreak

Provincial staff will help enforce travel restrictions from islands, mainland

Strong season but no market for B.C.’s spot prawn fishers

Sector hopeful low prices will catch the eye of local prawn lovers

Fairview Terminal expansion receives regulatory approval

DP World expects expansion will add 300 jobs at the Prince Rupert facility

Community outbreak of COVID-19 confirmed on Haida Gwaii

Contact tracing has confirmed a total of 13 cases, according to Northern Health

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Most Read