Vandalism, safety concerns prompt call for lights at park

ysmith council voted last week to find out how much it costs to turn the lights on at the park

Safety concerns are prompting calls for lighting at Brown Drive Park in Ladysmith.

Ladysmith council voted last week to find out how much it costs to turn the lights on at the park after hearing concerns about what happens in the dark park. At the Oct. 20 council meeting, councillors received a letter from Cheri Mactier, who asked the Town to consider hooking up the lights in the park before tragedy strikes.

In her letter, Mactier, who has lived across from Brown Drive Park for about 13 years, spoke about regularly cleaning up garbage and empties after the many parties at the park, being kept awake by the noise from people partying at the park and about vandalism to the playground, gate and picnic tables.

“I have had to call the police on occasion because it was hard to detect if the screaming coming from the park was one of urgency or just drunkenness,” she wrote. “This has gone on for far too long.”

Mactier also addressed council during the meeting, explaining how she had to call the police on the previous Friday night when there were anywhere from 25 to 45 kids in the park and loud music coming from a car parked in front of the park. She noted that when the kids see police arrive at the park, they often run in to the dark woods.

“There are three lamp standards, two in the back corner of the park and one in the front, and I don’t understand why the lights haven’t been turned on,” she said. “I feel like if the lights were on, it would discourage the kids from hanging out in the park.”

Coun. Steve Arnett wondered if parents know what their kids are doing, noting we all have a responsibility for the town’s children and teenagers.

“Young people are always going to be testing limits, and that’s part of it, but what you’re describing is really intolerable, quite frankly,” he said. “The kids have often gone down to Transfer Beach, and kids will always find a place to gather and experiment a little bit, but that doesn’t sound like experimentation anymore — it sounds like a very unsafe situation for the kids, especially if kids are drinking and flaked out on lawns, there’s the potential for alcohol poisoning. The running from police or yourself into the woods, that’s a dangerous situation for sure.”

Staff recommended that council refer Mactier’s letter to the RCMP for investigation and recommendation for resolving the issues she  raises.

Coun. Duck Paterson, a member of the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club that built the playground, wanted the lights turned on right away. He shared two letters from the Ladysmith RCMP, written in 2011 and 2013, which recommend lighting at the park.

Paterson also provided a note from Ladysmith Fire/Rescue Chief Ray Delcourt, stating that not having lighting in the area of Brown Drive Park can be a problem.

“I appreciate staff’s recommendation, but the Kinsmen have tried to get the lights in there, those lights have cost nothing, and they just need to be turned on,” said Paterson.

Mayor Rob Hutchins explained the Town must notify the neighbourhood before making any changes. In the past, at least one neighbour has objected to turning the lights on.

“I think it’s the right move, but there’s a process,” he said.

Coun. Gord Horth felt it was time to act, saying council needs to be concerned about the safety of younger children using the playground the morning after these parties.

In the end, council voted to refer the letter to the RCMP and asked staff to report back as soon as possible with recommendations for the process, cost and timelines to complete the installation of the lights.

 

Just Posted

Ladysmith marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Ontario licensed marijuana producer Aphria has reached an agreement to acquire Ladysmith-based… Continue reading

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

CVRD hikes fire protection requisition limit for rural Ladysmith by 25 per cent

Cowichan Valley Regional District is increasing the annual requisition limit for fire… Continue reading

Ladysmith runner reaches podium on new Pioneer 8K course

Meg Lewis-Schneider with CeeVacs Roadrunners Club sets event record

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

UPDATE: City of Nanaimo senior manager dismissed

Chief operations officer Brad McRae no longer employed by the city

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Island passengers say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Most Read