South Surrey’s Glades Park is a popular Mother’s Day destination. Three of several improvements identified in the master plan for the park now ‘await future funding,’ following Surrey council’s approval of the city’s 2019-2023 financial plan. (File photo)

‘Big piece’ of planned Glades’ work delayed in new Surrey budget

Parking lot completed, but gatehouse on hold at popular South Surrey park

The approval of Surrey’s 2019-2023 financial plan means a trio of improvements eyed for a popular Mother’s Day destination in South Surrey are on hold.

Parks manager Neal Aven confirmed an entrance gatehouse, a small amphitheatre and additional trail and pathway development at Glades Park are amenities that “await future funding” as a result of cuts to capital projects.

The entrance gatehouse is “a big piece that we are hopeful to achieve funding for in the future,” Aven said, of the structure identified in a master plan for the 561 172 St. park that was presented to the previous council in February 2017.

READ MORE: South Surrey’s Glades Park to receive $1.5-million upgrade

READ MORE: Disappointment, frustration after Surrey council votes to approve budget

The new council voted 5-4 Monday in favour of the new budget (expected to be formally adopted today), which recommended postponing $1.5 million in Glades Park improvements, along with more than a dozen other capital projects – to reduce the city’s required debt by $136 million, according to a city report.

Councillors who voted against the budget noted “hundreds” of people wrote city hall to express opposition, and said it “takes away infrastructure.

Aven, who spoke to Peace Arch News prior to Monday’s vote, said parks staff are “excited” about improvements to Glades Park that have been completed – or will be by the end of the year – since the master plan was presented.

Those include a new paved parking lot for more than 40 cars, perimeter fencing along the property’s 172 Street frontage and some new trails, including a connection from the new parking lot area into the Glades garden.

All of the steps were planned to enable more public openings at the park, which was gifted to the city in 2002 by Jim and Elfriede DeWolf.

Additional amenities to be finished in time for Mother’s Day include more pedestrian connections from 172 Street, an “events lawn area,” a small storage area for staff use and some landscaping around the parking lot, Aven added.

According to the city’s 2018-2022 financial plan, the total value of the multi-year project was $4 million.

“We know this is going to improve the Glades’ in its ability to host these events now,” Aven said. “We’ll await future funding and be keen to implement the master plan to its completion if and when the opportunity arises.”

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