LETTER: How many ‘nice to have’ projects does Port Alberni have to cut?

There are people who strongly oppose the train and McLean Mill, but I remain a supporter

To the Editor,

Re: Right decision made over trains, Letters, March 13.

My wife and I have volunteered in our community for more than 30 years and many years ago our family volunteered for the Alberni Pacific Railway – laying track the old fashioned way, riding the steam train at Alberni Pulp & Paper Divisions 40th anniversary, Forestry Week and the Santa Train.

We read the letter “Right decision made over tourist trains” and we realized there are people who strongly oppose the train and McLean Mill, but I remain a supporter.

When the new AV Multiplex held several referenda, I realized that one of them would pass. Now the residents of Port Alberni enjoy a new upgraded facility, and I continue to pay the Arena Parcel Tax (thru my property taxes) for what feels like forever. Do I use it? No, but other friends and family do.

The letter goes on to say: “For many years, administrations have taken on ‘nice to have’ projects while simultaneously under funding or inadequately addressing critical city infrastructure.”

In the 2019 budget, council has nixed the steam train, drastically reduced the McLean Mill budget, nixed Canal Waterfront Park improvements and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has nixed its support for a new pool. So what’s next, the Multiplex and AV Bulldogs? Should the city shut down our community facilities and focus entirely on the infrastructure—utilities (water, sewer and storm drains), streets and garbage collection?

What a dull and boring community this would be. I wouldn’t blame anyone for not stopping in our city or the youth from leaving – no jobs and no fun.

Gerry Walerius,

Port Alberni

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