The Town of Pasadena recently acquired a 13-acre parcel of land in an area known as Tipping Drive through a lease-own agreement with the provincial government. That agreement has a number of conditions, including the requirement it is utilized for recreational purposes.
A committee of community representatives has been struck, and along with the Humber Economic Development Board, is tasked with developing a plan for the former Western Sno-Riders and Pasadena Rod and Gun Club location.
A call for expressions of interest has gone out inviting ideas for development and partnerships from the public. A public consultation held at the town’s recreation centre Wednesday evening attracted only approximately a dozen people, including members of council.
The residents appeared to be in agreement, the land has to be developed as a revenue generator for the town.
The consensus was that the ideal way develop a niche tourist product was to start with a boat launch or marina along the Deer Lake waterfront.
In conjunction with that, the ideas from residents included a boat and Sea-Doo rental service and providing amenities to the people it draws in like a day park, convenience store, and picnic area.
Pasadena is already an attraction to many people throughout western Newfoundland for its beach, so this would expand on that.
Meanwhile, the Town of Pasadena has been approved for $6.16 million of provincial funding to construct a new recreation facility, which has a total value of $7.7 million. Council has identified the current location as the future place for the facility, but Mayor Gary Bishop noted Wednesday evening that it could be revisited. He made the comment after a number of the people in attendance said the Tipping Drive property would be an ideal location.
“This should be looked at as a gift, when you get 13 acres of land that you can use for recreation,” resident Clyde Foote said during the public consultation. “I hope council, and the body itself, has the foresight to look outside the box, that we can expand that area.
“I would like to see the rec centre put there, used in combination with a boat launch and further expansion of any kind of thing to do with recreation.”
There were no objections to the notion, and most people in attendance agreed with the suggestion. Others expanded on the amenities which could be added including walking, ski-doo, snowshoe, and cross-country ski trails.
Much discussion also revolved around the lack of services available in this area, mainly sewer, and how much it would cost to do that. Those who spoke on it, either agreed there would be a return on the investment or savings could be found in building the recreation centre in this area to pay for the servicing.
Bishop said a boat launch or some form of marina is almost a given for the area, but the overall vision will be determined throughout this public consultation and planning process.
Meanwhile, Mark Lamswood, a new resident of Pasadena and representative of the Humber Economic Development Board, said the organization will not determine what will be developed in that location, but will create a vision based on the process. However, he said the town will more likely obtain federal and provincial funding with a plan to create an attraction of regional scope or beyond.
“There really isn’t anything geared towards recreational boating in this whole area of western Newfoundland,” he said. “Something proper, that you can charge for ... There is a perceived demand for something along those lines.”
The calls for expressions of interest continues until May 25 and the committee and Humber Economic Development Board is also accepting written feedback from the public.