Hats off to North Saanich councillors Heather Gartshore and Geoff Orr for their prompt response and having the foresight to realize the unique gateway platform potential (the McTavish Road interchange) has to offer for welcoming visitors and in improving the quality of life for all our local residents.
Often times a community inherits unwanted innate responsibilities and trying to avoid it only drags the problem out until someone finally realizes it’s not going to go away by passing the buck.
I think the cost sharing partnership should be expanded to all the surrounding communities who would benefit from aesthetically improving the site.
Also, a corporate and business advertising component should be explored.
There’s a Federal election on the horizon — maybe someone could give Prime Minister Stephen Harper a call since this all started with federal infrastructure money.
I would also recommend having a preliminary water source and irrigation cost estimate done for the two highly visual circle Islands prepared for those talks.
One other issue that should be considered is having at least one of the local participants assist the provincial ministry in overseeing the improvement process and maintenance standards of the site.
I’ve been in the landscape design and horticultural field for over 40 years and I’ve noticed a lot of the trees have been damaged at the base from inexperienced contracted staff and a poorly designed landscape.
I don’t blame the contractor — it’s a very common problem but could have been avoided by having one of our knowledgeable, local municipal staff oversee and insist that the maintenance standards and practices are being met and finding that balance of implementing an aesthetically pleasing landscape with an affordable maintenance budget schedule.
Thank you, North Saanich mayor and council for picking up the ball where it was dropped and at least giving a serious consideration to this shared opportunity.
Douglas E. Lewis, Saanichton