Thursday, January 19, 2017

January 16th, 2017 Council Meeting Notes: Snow & ice removal, and redeveloping Hunter Park

While the 2017 Financial Plan was front and centre at this Monday’s City of Langley council meeting, other items we also discussed.

Rick Bomhof who is the Director of Engineering, Parks and Environment gave a quick overview of the City's snow and ice removal efforts during the month of December. Some 632 metric tonnes of salt and 1,200 people hours went into making sure that our roads and city-maintained sidewalks were clear.

$179,589 has been spent on snow and ice removal this winter so far. To put that into perspective, the annual budget for snow removal was $154,000 for 2016. I work in Downtown Vancouver, and travel along Fraser Highway every day to work. City of Langley streets and sidewalks were in way better shape than the other municipalities' streets and sidewalks I used during December.

One of the things that some communities forget about is clearing the snow on sidewalk curb letdowns. For people with limited mobility, or that need mobility aids, clearing curb letdowns is critically important. I was pleased to see that for city-maintained sidewalks, our crews cleared curb letdowns.

Now it wasn’t all clear and under control in the City, some private property owners didn’t maintain their sidewalks which is required as per our municipal traffic bylaw.

Bomhof noted that due to the snow and freezing weather, construction was paused on several projects. With the warmer weather, work will now resume. Because of the weather, the 203rd Street project will now open at the end of March.

Bomhof stated the following major projects are now “in design:” the replacement of the 200 Street Bridge Deck, Baldi Creek culvert upgrade near 53 Avenue, and the 56 Avenue Utilities Project.

Kim Hilton who is the Director of Recreation, Culture and Community Services also provided an update on recreation opportunities available in our community. As a highlight, the City will be celebrating Family Day at Timms Community Centre from 11:30am to 2:30pm. All activities will be free and open for all members of the community.

Council also gave final reading to bylaws that were discussed during the last meeting of 2016 around taxi/chauffeur permits, and a development project near 53A Avenue and 201A Avenue which was discussed at the October 3, 2016 council meeting.

Council also received the annual reports from our Community Day Committee, Magic of Christmas Parade Committee, and Youth Committee.

Due to laminated root rot, trees in Hunter Park were removed. Now that the removal has finished, work will begin to restore Hunter Park. I’ve been appointed to the new Hunter Park Task Group. The task group will also include City staff, one person from the local school PAC Committee, and 4 people from the local neighbourhood. There will be a public open house about the future of the park in the next little while. The task group will review the input from the public open house, the Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan and will consider both passive and active uses within the park to make a recommendation on how to redevelop the park.

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