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Coquitlam seeks money to maintain

Should B.C.

Should B.C. municipalities be allowed to dip into a fund earmarked to buy new parkland?

That's the question Coquitlam city council has put before the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA), which hosts its annual convention starting today (Wednesday) in Whistler.

Coquitlam council wants the region's civic politicians to endorse its proposal that would give cities the flexibility to use the 5% Parkland Acquisition Fees to maintain green spaces as well.

Coun. Mae Reid, who introduced the motion, said budgets for existing parks are depleting and cities need to find cash for their upkeep.

If passed by LMLGA attendees, the resolution would go to the Union of BC Municipalities' convention in September and, if approved by delegates there, would be forwarded to the provincial government to request Section 941 of the Local Government Act be changed.

Coquitlam's resolution is one of 14 that will be debated at the three-day LMLGA conference. Other topics include: the need to create uniformed bylaws to regulate pawnshops, second-hand dealers and recyclers; the elimination of the Medical Services Plan premiums for seniors; and funding for the RCMP's Lower Mainland integrated teams.

Tri-City politicians signed up to attend the LMLGA convention are: from Coquitlam, Mayor Richard Stewart and councillors Brent Asmundson, Barrie Lynch, Doug Macdonell, Linda Reimer and Selina Robinson; Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore; and Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini and councillors Gerry Nuttall and Bob Elliott. Coquitlam city clerk Jay Gilbert is also registered to attend.