It appears that the readers of this newspaper are only getting articles written about the acquisition of Centennial Field in Blind Bay that are of the negative persuasion.
I for one would like to put it out there that purchasing Centennial Field to keep it as a park in perpetuity is the best thing that could happen for Blind Bay. A community park is a central focus of a community!
The people of Blind Bay and area have been able to use Centennial Field over the years for Canada Day, Music in the Park and other functions, only because of the generosity of the Barker Family. The Barkers arrived in this area in the ’70s and started acquiring land for a golf course as well as for residential areas. They have done well over the years and have helped to build a well planned and vibrant community. One of the areas that they chose not to develop is Centennial Field. They have had unsolicited offers from developers who wanted that piece of property in order to build high-density residences, but the Barkers saw the benefits of keeping the area as a green space.
The Barkers have been in talks with SECA (Shuswap Estates Community Association) as far back as eight or nine years, and with the CSRD for the last six, to come up with a reasonable offer for the property. They aren’t going to give it away! They are in the real estate business! They accepted an offer from the CSRD that was below market price in order to maintain the area as a park. It is a prime piece of real estate that has waterfront access, is a flat, safe place to play on and can be used year round by all of the citizens of the area.
We need this park land and there is none other in the area that would be so beneficial to the community. Once it is gone, it is gone forever as we cannot make new land. The time is right and the price is right to make the decision on purchasing this valuable asset for the community.