Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 10, 2017 Council Meeting Notes: Fire Service crews extremely busy, drug overdoes up, updates on park improvements, events, and other projects in the community.

With Langley City council adjourning for the month of August, and with only one more meeting left, Monday’s council meeting was packed with updates from our municipal departments, and the RCMP. You can read about the RCMP update on yesterday’s post.

Fire Chief Rory Thompson provided an update about our Langley City Fire-Rescue Service. The service continues to be extremely busy. In the first half of 2016, Langley City Fire-Rescue Service crews responded to 1,573 calls. This has grown to 1,667 calls responded to in the first half of 2017. Around 80% of all call are medical-related, or vehicle collision-related.

Throughout British Columbia, there is a fentanyl and stronger carfentinil drug crises; people are dying due to overdoses at levels unseen in our province. Langley City is not immune to this crises. As shown in the following image, the number of drug overdoses in our community has increase by 3.5 time since 2015.

Number of drug overdoses in Langley City from 2015 to date. Select image to enlarge.

Some people think that this crises is only impacting people that are living on the street. According to Fire Chief Thompson, the clear majority of people that are being treated for overdoses have a home.

On a different topic, our Fire-Rescue Service is moving to a new, next-generation communication system by joining E-Comm. E-Comm is best known for taking 911 calls, but it also operates a wide-area radio network in Metro Vancouver that is used by police, fire, and ambulance services.

By moving to the E-Comm radio network, our Fire-Rescue Service will be on a multi-agency network that facilitates easier communication between police, fire, and ambulance services in our community as well as between Langley City, Township, and Surrey Fire-Rescue Services. During emergencies, having this kind of communication is key. Langley City council approved the budget to move to the E-Comm radio network in our 2017 budget.

Langley City is investing record-level dollars into our parks system and road network. During our Engineering, Parks, and Environment Update, the new Penzer Action Park was highlighted. The $1.3 million Penzer Action Park is home to the largest parkour course in Canada.

Cigarette butts are the number one thing that I see people throw onto the street. Not only is this littering, but it can cause fires. Langley City has installed 5 pole-mounted ashtrays as a pilot to see if this will help address this problem in high-demand areas in our Downtown core.

Example of new pole-mounted ashtray. Select image to enlarge.

Other projects currently under construction include:

  • Spray park expansion at City Park
  • Hunter Park redevelopment
  • New Portage Park picnic shelter
  • New Douglas Park outdoor fitness equipment
  • Baldi Creek culvert replacement
  • Newland Drive/210 Street renewal
  • 56 Avenue renewal
  • 200 Street Bridge rehabilitation
  • 200 Street watermain replacement

As a note, during the 200 Street Bridge rehabilitation, traffic will be reduce to one-lane in each direction. Pedestrian access across the bridge will be maintained.

One of the other significant areas of focus for Langley City is bringing more positive, family-friendly activity to our community. To see a list of all the events that are coming up, please check out the City’s website. There is always something going on. For example, there is an upcoming movie night in Douglas Park.

Finally, Langley City has launched a new “spotlight” video series. This series will highlight some of the reasons why our community is the place to be. These short videos will be posted online and on social media over the next year.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting about the public hearing and rezoning application for two properties located along 198 Street that was one Monday night's agenda.

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