Today’s Poll

Blog: Instead of catching the bird, the city could be laying an egg

Xun Ke Lao
By Xun Ke Lao
December 8th, 2011

Choosing one of the three unimaginatively similar suggested locations for the heron-post is difficult: where exactly is the Heritage Inn Point or the Waterfront Amphitheatre?

Nobody I asked knows the Heritage Inn Point: there are several points along the waterfront, parallel to the soccer fields. What here (and here alone) is called the Amphitheatre seems to be the stretch of grassy slope – no stage – next to the rowers’ dock. If so – where there?

At which point, where on the slope or in the arboretum is not clear: so what’s to choose?

An added consideration – not mentioned anywhere – is the bronze osprey in a nest on a wooden post, in the bay next to the mall’s parking lot.

This by local sculptor Denis Kleine, within the osprey’s natural environment. The osprey is iconic in this area – the heron is not! Regardless – putting the heron that close to it – the Heritage Inn Point particularly so – makes no sense!

In the mock-ups this post appears to be about 10 feet high, meaning that the remaining 15 feet or so are sunk into the ground. The Nelson Post does not mention how high its sculptor envisions the heron above-ground.

So – aside from not being able to tell exactly where, we also can’t tell how high.
We do know though that the ground isn’t particularly solid in this area – what with landfill and rocks – so it would not be a simple matter of digging a 15-foot hole and sinking the post into it. Money!

On the other hand – the higher the post’s section above-ground is – the more well-engineered support it will need: considering its weight of about one ton and frequent strong winds! Money!

No matter how far up or down – the post not tapering towards the top plus the heron business up there, do not make for the desirable centre of gravity – top-heavy! More engineering-considerations. And more money!

And – the City’s agreement with the sculptor has him construct a decorative base he already designed – $6,000 – which is only doable on flat ground, thus would call for considerable ground-modifications.

If the post were to be erected in a spot not at all suitable for this base: would the sculptor agree and still get his $6,000? The three mock-ups do not show his base or any kind of (necessary!) foundation.

When the Kelowna City Council came up with a minimum of $20.000 in installation costs, they seemed to know what they were talking about – they had done the math!

In Nelson even just a rough cost-estimate for various possible location terrains has been deferred since the beginning; and the CDC said in the Nelson Star, Nov. 16, 2011, that the most important/difficult thing now would be finding the location for the post. The rest would be easy!

This approach has made me wonder all along how great a surprise the costs will be eventually.

Information made public about the heron has been sparse and often vague. Particularly about money involved.

No matter who hands it out for this venture – the source ultimately is the tax-payer! As the City – according to former Councillor Stacey – will definitely not pay for any of this, the public needs to be able to see more transparently in this matter.

And no matter how soothing the community-input idea for locations may be: this mock-up construct is fun at best – but certainly not reality-based!

How far is the community really involved in this selection process? What if the popular location-choice were to present significantly more installation problems – thus costs – than another location would?

But we wouldn’t know, would we, if no engineering-based across-the-board estimates are done prior to the decision. The cart before the horse! Non-existent money to burn!

Unless, of course, all this has been handled completely and efficiently already – and we just haven’t been told!

Could it be that instead of catching a bird – we may just be laying an egg here.

Read the article here:



Categories: GeneralOp/Ed

Other News Stories