Gage Park improvements were approved by White Rock council.

Gage Park slated for upgrades

A proposal to apply for provincial funding to support upgrades to White Rock's Gage Park was approved Dec. 19.

A $47,000-effort to spruce up a patch of green space at the corner of Columbia and Victoria Avenues got the go-ahead at White Rock council last week.

But the project proposed for Gage Park did not receive unanimous support.

“This bit of green space is nothing more than that,” said Coun. Al Campbell, of the small, triangular park at 15100 Columbia Ave. “We don’t need anything more here, in my opinion.”

City arborist Aelicia Otto asked council to apply for a $37,600 B.C. Community Recreation Grant, to help fund planned upgrades. The application – due Dec. 28 – had to include a resolution from council confirming the city’s share of the cost – $9,400 – is in place, Otto said.

Proposed upgrades include installing a retaining wall, seating, a stairway, planting beds, trees, irrigation and grass. It currently sports two benches, a tall fir and a trio of newly planted trees.

Given the park’s location on a pedestrian route bewtween the town centre and the waterfront, and the popularity of walking in the community, “the development of Gage Park is strategic in linking neighbourhoods to the beach,” a staff report states.

Otto noted the city’s 2011 budget identified $12,000 for irrigation upgrades at the park – work that did not proceed. The grant, if awarded, could cover up to 80 per cent of the proposed amendments, she said. Without it, only the original-slated work will be undertaken.

In voicing opposition, Campbell said the money would be “way better-spent” at Emerson Park. Located at Columbia Avenue and Lee Street, that park includes a playground and picnic tables, and is popular for families, he said.

The majority of council was not swayed by Campbell’s argument. A recommendation to adopt the resolution passed 5-2, with Campbell and Coun. Mary-Wade Anderson opposed.

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