New parking lot number 3…lets have a look at that. Lets look at Freedom Park, the park that is about to be bulldozed flat and turned into a parking lot.
True its not much of a park and is underused but it was built using tax dollars and does contain a few nice sized trees. An interesting FYI story about around nine of those larger trees is that they are refugees from Marina Park.
A funny story…when the City of Thunder Bay decided to bulldoze a large portion of Marina Park, the idea by the planners was to move a large number of trees. Not all of the trees. Maybe 80? I am not 100% sure about the exact number, but it was a lot of trees. A contractor was hired at around $1000 per tree. Came from Southern Ontario.
Turns out that most of the trees could not be moved because the roots had grown around the rock and debris that was used to build Marina Park. So what to do? So they paid the contractor to move maybe a couple of dozen trees that were not scheduled to move.
Some of those trees were transplanted around the Festival Area. Around nine or so were moved and re-planted in Freedom Park. I guess we paid to move and re-plant trees only to cut them down three years later?
Look, I understand that it is a little park that nobody ever uses. I get that. But just how many parking lots do we need around the downtown? It makes more sense to build a multi-level parking structure that, although expensive has a much smaller physical footprint. How come nothing was ever mentioned about the loss of this greenspace? A city park, no matter how small is worth discussing because the taxpayers paid for the damn thing.
All this additional parking requirement was raised and dealt with during Phase 2 Feasibility Study. No additional parking was found to be required AFTER Commisso had a chat with the consultant. Before the chat, 500 parking spaces required. After the chat, no parking spaces required….until now. Now they need an additional 600 or 650 parking spaces to provide that net gain of 450.
And the additional cost of this parking, estimated to be AROUND $2 million, is not included in the price of the proposed event centre even though that if not for the event centre, these AROUND $2 million worth of new parking spaces would not be required.
It appears that the construction of these additional parking spaces is going ahead immediately. It appears the city is in a real hurry to build them. Why?
Manipulation of the facts. That is what our City Admin and local media are doing. Manipulating the facts to keep the public from knowing the true cost of the $120 million 100% taxpayer funded facility.