July 21st, 2024

SPC asks council to approve land donation

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on July 5, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge city council is being asked to approve a donation of downtown land from the Chinese National League Society for a pocket park.
The 290 square metre piece of land is located next to the parking lot of the downtown Scotia Bank at 309 2 Ave. S. and once was home to the CNLS building that was demolished years ago because of structural and safety concerns.
The Assets and Infrastructure Standing Policy Committee of city council on Thursday voted to approve a resolution put forward by vice-chair Nick Paladino that council accept the donation.
The society wants to develop a pocket park at the site to preserve the history of the local Chinese community “with the hope of reinvigorating investment, interest and development in Lethbridge’s Chinatown,” sways the report.
Opportunity Lethbridge has helped the society explore options for the park and assisted them in getting a conceptual design as well as quotes for construction and maintenance.
The society plans to fund the capital development of the park with the City being responsible for ongoing maintenance and repair costs if city council accepts the donation of the property which has an assessed value of $84,000.
Council is being asked to accept the donation contingent upon the following conditions:
a. The Chinese National League Society securing adequate grant funding to complete the project;
b. The results of the environmental assessment are satisfactory of the City Manager;
c. Execution of a land donation agreement in a form satisfactory to the City Manager; and
d. The park being constructed as depicted in attachment 1 prior to Jan. 1, 2028.
The estimated cost of the park project is $549,505 with the society planning to fund all of its cost through grants.
The estimated capital cost of the project is $549,505 while annual maintenance costs are estimated to be $2,076. The annual tax revenue for the City is $2,065.
A report to the SPC says demolition of the CNLS buildings and recent fires have highlighted the need for positive development in Chinatown.
” If the pocket park is constructed, it would act as a positive catalyst in the area for reinvestment and renewed interest in retaining the historic value of Lethbridge’s Chinatown,” notes the report.
“There is risk that if the pocket park is not constructed, then the area will further lose important historic value, and the community will not see a catalyst through which future investment might be attracted,” the report adds.

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