The two groups have now established a transition team to facilitate the transfer.
The team is made up of members of the association – Brian Antonson (president), Don Brown (manager of Fraser River Heritage Park), Abe Neufeld (vice-president) and Kate Gruenwald who will provide administrative support to the association. District representatives include Couns. Pam Alexis, Carol Hamilton and Danny Plecas as well as Maureen Sinclair, director, parks, recreation and culture.
“We want to make sure this is done in a very smooth way. We want no bumps in the road. The public should see no change whatsoever,” said Mission Mayor Randy Hawes.
Fraser River Heritage Park has been maintained by the association for decades. Last month, the district announced it would end the group’s contract and assume responsibility for the park, under a new governance plan. The district plans to create a parks advisory committee.
Antonson agreed that a smooth transition would be preferred. However, he said the heritage association still feels the change is unwarranted.
“We were finally allowed to meet with council and we made what I thought was a very effective presentation, but their minds are made up. They are not about to change.”
Antonson said the only thing left to do is operate the park until the contract runs out on Dec. 31, 2015 and ensure there is a smooth turnover.
“We, of course, care very much about what the park looks like, so we don’t want anything to go wrong,” he said.