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Councillor pleased with Millennium trend
As begun last week with the topical thoughts of two Castlegar city councillors being examined, the process continues here with Coun. Florio Vassilakakis. The effort intends to make up for the reduced amount of information coming out due to the lighter summer schedule of city council meetings.
Indicating off the top that he’s not particularly consumed by any pressing issues at present, Vassilakakis did concede that economic considerations are fairly consistent in his thinking, and overall, he likes what he sees in Castlegar.
A key component in Vassilakakis’ positive view is the well-documented action involving Millennium Park. The physical attributes of the riverfront location have been there all along, but ongoing additions and improvements have many people, including Vassilakakis, excited.
He sees the evolving park as long-coveted public centre for Castlegar, an acknowledged meeting place for locals and visitors and a strong influence on the economic health of the city.
A revitalized downtown core would please Vassilakakis greatly, and he says the park can help.
“With Millennium Ponds opening up, even though they’re not in the downtown core, I think they’ll definitely help push traffic through,” he stated.
“There are always some things that can be done better,” Vassilakakis continued from his cellphone on August 1, “but the way I look at Castlegar right now, it’s moving in a positive direction. I’m at the ponds right now… it’s a pretty spectacular place. The previous council that made the decision had some pretty good foresight to take a chance and build something like this.”
The way it’s shaping up has the councillor convinced it will soon become a major gathering place. He acknowledged other parks in the area but feels none can compare with what Millennium is turning into.
“I’ve been in Castlegar for eight years now,” he said, “and I think this is definitely the most exciting project that’s happened.” There seems like plenty on the horizon to sustain his excitement.
“From the beach volleyball to the bike park, the off-leash dog park…a lot of things are going to happen here in the next couple of years and I hope to keep pushing those forward.” He also mentioned the coming Rotary-motivated storage/picnic/concession (with a sizable financial boost from Zellstoff Celgar), and the fact that an outdoor amphitheater had even been noted as a possibility in the Millennium Park master plan.
The value of a focal point for the community can not be overstated in the opinion of Florio Vassilikakis.
“When you get that community spirit and that positivity,” he concluded, “that all kind of feeds into economic development. Not only do people come down here and you get the traffic through downtown, but it also helps with family retention. You’re giving them things to do. You don’t want to lose them to neighbouring communities.”
Councillor Florio Vassilikakis – optimistic, excited.