TreeGo a go?
TRURO - The ball is in the hands of town councillors now after residents had an opportunity Tuesday to have their say about an aerial adventure course in Victoria Park.
"I'm really torn," Mayor Bill Mills said Wednesday. "I see the benefit on one side, but on the other side, I don't think I would want to see it in the park."
That was one of the common threads voiced by residents who attended this week's public meeting called to gather input regarding the TreeGO proposal to have zip lines and an aerial obstacle course in Victoria Park.
Mills said it is going to be a tough decision because the town is always looking for ways to bring new jobs to town and increase traffic for businesses that support everything from sports teams to charitable organizations. But he has also heard the message the park is a place people go to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
One thing is certain, people on both sides of the issue are passionate. The meeting drew one of the largest audiences, an estimated 175 people, since 2002 when the town decided to tear down the former town hall due to safety concerns about the building's roof trusses.
Despite some opposition against the TreeGO proposal, a town councillor maintains it is a good idea.
"I don't think it's a dead issue," Greg MacArthur told the Truro Daily News Wednesday morning. "I think council has to take a look at it."
He estimated the split from the meeting was 60 per cent against and 40 for the proposed park when you take into account a petition with 100 names from the Nova Scotia Community College that was presented to the town's solicitor.
Council could make a decision on the proposal at its next meeting on March 1. MacArthur knows if that happens, regardless of council's decision, everybody is not going to be happy.
Some people have also asked for the town to slow down before rushing into a decision. But the problem is the developer is under a deadline as well.
"If March 1 doesn't cut it for him, there's a very good chance it probably goes somewhere else," Mills said.
Some residents are concerned about commercial activity taking place in the Victoria Park, but MacArthur said people are already paying to use the swimming pool and the tennis courts. Other people point out people once paid to camp in the park.
"I guess the big fear is the creeping," Mills said. "Year by year, there's a perception that maybe we're losing the park a little bit here, a little bit there."
Some people have suggested if TreeGO gets the green light, how could the town say no to the next business that comes knocking at its door looking at setting up shop in Victoria Park.
The proposal would not cost the town anything or impact existing trails, but is estimated to attract 20,000 to 25,000 people to the business annually and provide about 15 seasonal jobs.