This a long read so settle in.
Read the Sackville RC Proposal in case you are not familiar with it. Otherwise, keep reading for the HRM meeting details.
On Thursday Jan 16, 2014 we (Todd Connolly, Steve Taylor, Adrian Parsons and Clint Griffin), sat down with Halifax Regional Municipality staff members, John Henry HRM Coordinator of Community & Recreation Services (John if I have your title wrong I apologize) and Ann Wambolt Coordinator of Sport & Community Events to discuss a dedicated RC Park for HRM. No promises were made from either side and this is what we discussed.
– We did asked for a top notch RC Park which the city would build and maintain and understandably that idea fell short.
– We then discussed the idea of having HRM dedicate a piece of land, in which the RC community could build and maintain a track and bashing area. This is where we started to make progress, the idea seemed to be well received and we quickly began discussing short term, long term goals and potential locations. The long term goal would be to have a spot big enough to comfortably host regular races on the Maritime RC Racing Circuit. We all seem to agree that the short term goal is to just get a spot to safely operate our RC vehicles as a community.
– The RC park would be something that RC community builds together, with HRM monitoring the progress of this “Pilot Project”. A popular and successful RC Park after the first year would place us in a good position to get funding, additional support as well as a potential location upgrade from HRM in the second year. (The first location maybe less than ideal, the key is to get something and show HRM the RC interest level. More on sacrifice later)
– Speaking of locations, we learned the Eddie Leblanc Field in Sackville is off the table, as HRM has other plans for it at this time. The Glenbourne Sports Field in Halifax has also been removed from consideration, one of the reasons is the fact that is not wheelchair accessible. Other potential locations that were discussed are a park in Capilano Estates, Sackville Industrial Park, the Bedford Common and the BMX park in Beaver Bank. HRM will be looking closely at these places as well as anything else they feel may be suited for this project.
– This would be considered a pilot project and any location dedicated for a RC Park in the first year MAY require some sacrifice by the RC community. Please keep in mind the growth potential mentioned with the short and long term goals.
Here are a few examples of what we mean by sacrifice:
1) If the only piece of land HRM has for us is in a residential neighborhood, we may have restrictions placed on Nitro vehicles.
2) If it is not near a water source, we are going to have dry track.
3) If the land is not big enough we may not be able to race 1/5 scale vehicles.
At this point none of the examples are for certain, but we as the RC community need to be prepared to sacrifice now, so we can grow later.
– How cool would it be to see hundreds of RC cars take to the 400m Emera Oval this summer for a massive RC race? Well, it was discussed and it was HRM’s idea.
– The city is now going to take sometime and do some research, look into strategic planning, real estate and insurance. We hope to hear from them in about 6 weeks time.
– Before leaving, we were told the potential is still there to have something in place for the 2014 season.
I want to make clear that will still have No Promises from HRM, but we do have major progress. The fact that they are still looking into this is a good thing, we just need to remain patient.
Building and maintaining a RC Park is a big responsibility, we have people willing to help and in fact, an independent committee has been established to oversea this responsibility. If you are interested in helping with this project please contact the East Coast Radio Control Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org and leave your name, age and how you can help. We want to have a better idea on the number of people and type of help offered, should HRM give us the green light. So far the committee is made up of members of Sackville RC, HRM Radio Control and few independent RC enthusiast.
At this point, this has been a year long process for us and we would like to take some time to say Thank You to…
Councillor Steve Craig, for all the support, being open to the idea and helping it move forward.
Mighty Small Cars, our LHS (Local Hobby Store), and Geoff Davis for allowing us to put the paper petition in your store.
Greg Gibson for the petition idea and all the time we spent picking your brain.
Kelby Ernst, you have been terrific behind the scenes, doing all those things you do.
Clint Griffin for your dedication to the RC community and your help with the HRM meeting.
John Henry and Ann Wambolt for taking the time to meet with us and explore this idea further.
Thank you to everyone who responded to the interest call we placed in Kijiji last year. The level of support was and is amazing. If we forgot anyone we are truly sorry, it has been a long and exciting day.
Adrian Parsons, Steve Taylor, Todd Connolly.