LETTER: Port Alberni needs to straighten financial priorities

I’m writing to express my utter frustration with the City of Port Alberni’s financial priorities…

To the Editor,

I’m writing to express my utter frustration with the City of Port Alberni’s financial priorities.

It was with great disappointment I learned of cuts to our already aged community pool. Recreation centres are incredibly important towards building healthy communities and play a role in keeping our residents healthy and reducing their risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In particular, pools offer an alternative to land-based exercise which many people find more enjoyable but are also important for older adults, those of differing abilities, and those recovering from injuries because it is non-weight-bearing.

I am also struggling to comprehend why the city has so grossly neglected its parks and trails. Well-designed parks and trails are another staple of healthy communities and Port Alberni is due to invest time and money to upgrade the valley’s trail systems – making them more appealing and user-friendly.

Simple investments in our trail systems could go a long way to ensure they are better used and enjoyed. For example, most trails do not have a garbage can at the trail head, which discourages individuals from cleaning up after themselves and their pets.

I also believe Port Alberni is missing a huge opportunity by neglecting the Log Train Trail – with proper care Port Alberni could have its equivalent of Victoria’s Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails, but instead this trail is poorly signed, is a victim to perpetual active logging, and appears never to have been graded as most months of the year it becomes one giant puddle.

I was appalled to read the city is offering $10,000 for information about the McLean Mill vandalism yet has to cut pool hours. While history is certainly important, we need to invest in our future. We need to create a vibrant, healthy community – this will attract more residents and tourists much more than a new $25,000 “welcome” sign.

Laura Morrissey,

via e-mail

Municipal GovernmentPort Alberni

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