Mayor Doug McCallum maintains that bad soil is the only issue surrounding the postponed arena project on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.
McCallum made the remarks during an informal “Coffee and Conversation” session in Cloverdale Nov. 29. Councillors Linda Annis, Laurie Guerra, Brenda Locke, Jack Hundial, Allison Patton, and Steven Pettigrew joined the mayor for the laid-back chinwag at the Cloverdale Rec. Centre.
Hosted by the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, roughly 20 people attended the event.
“He said, ‘the arena is not going to happen on the fairgrounds or anywhere down there,’” said Cheryl White, special events coordinator for the Chamber. “(The mayor) kept talking about the land and the quality of the soil there.”
Scott Wheatley, the Chamber’s executive director, said the mayor is interested in rec centres that can accommodate many types of sporting uses.
“The mayor said they’ve been doing a lot of research on multi-use facilities,” Wheatley added. “Buildings that convert from pools to basketball courts to rinks with the push of a button.”
Wheatley said there was a little bit of heat when it came to talking about the upcoming budget, but that most of the conversation was courteous and respectful.
“There was a common theme about the frustrations over the time it takes to get permits for things,” said Wheatley. He said local business owners complained about the amount of hoops they had to jump through to get permits and that once they jumped through all of the City’s hoops, City workers would come back and tell the business owners their applications weren’t complete and things needed to be changed—that they had more hoops to jump through.
Wheatley said the topic of parks came up and all the councillors agreed Surrey needed more parks.
According to Wheatley, McCallum said the City has accumulated land for a park somewhere on 152nd Street and the City bought land in Campbell Heights–where they will also be building a park.
The mayor also chatted about the coming Surrey Police Department.
“He said, ‘there’ll be Surrey cops on the road by 2021,” noted Wheatley. “He said, ‘it’s a done deal. There’s no changing it.’”
According to Wheatley and White, McCallum also said social housing, in some form, is coming to Cloverdale.
“He said, ‘definitely, Cloverdale is on the map,’” added White. “He said, ‘It’s going to happen,’ but they don’t have a property in mind yet.”