Tuesday, October 1, 2019

September 30 Council Meeting: Reconciliation with Kwantlen First Nation, request for safety improvements near Simonds Elementary, and update on Summer Eco Crew

Last Langley City council meeting, a motion was passed that at the start of each meeting we acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Matsqui, and Semiahmoo First Nations. This is the first step towards reconciliation with the peoples who have been here since time immemorial.

Mayor van den Broek stated this acknowledgement at last night’s council meeting. Council received a welcome song and honour song from Kevin Kelly and Michael Kelly-Gabriel from Kwantlen First Nation.

Langley City council has been invited to share a meal at the Kwantlen Nation Longhouse. This is the next step in our reconciliation journey.

After, we received two presentation from Bruce Downing who is representing residents along Grade Crescent, west of 203rd Street. Earlier this summer, he requested that the City take action to implement traffic calming, make interim repairs to the sidewalks and trails, and improve the crosswalks in the area.

Bruce Downing presenting about safety concerns in Simonds neighbourhood. Select image to enlarge.

He first thanked council for the work completed to improve the Grade Crescent corridor including recent repairs to the sidewalk and one of the trails.

He had several other requests at last nights meeting including:

  • Paving the trail between Grade Crescent and Simonds Elementary School
  • Adding a crosswalk at Simonds Elementary School on 48th Avenue
  • Seeking funding from Heritage BC to install a plaque about the history of Grade Crescent as a rail corridor

Mr. Downing was informed that funding for the trail paving will be considered in the 2020 budget. For funding from Heritage BC, the City would likely need to send a letter of support for a heritage plaque.

For the crosswalk at Simonds Elementary, council passed the following motion:

THAT staff report back to council with options for installing a crosswalk and/or other markings across 48th Avenue at Simonds Elementary School, and that staff reach out to the Langley School Board to seek out potential cost-sharing opportunities for a crosswalk and/or other markings.

During the next presentation, Mr. Downing stated that the City should develop a fire management and evacuation plan for the Nicomekl Floodplain.

Council also heard from Carly Stromsten who was speaking on behalf of the Langley Environmental Partners Society. She gave council an update on the Summer Eco Crew which is funded by the City.

Carly Stromsten presenting about the Summer Eco Crew. Select image to enlarge.

This program has three main goals:

  1. Engage Langley youth in environmental projects through summer employment opportunities
  2. Improve areas of natural habitat, provide community education, and increase public environmental awareness
  3. Promote local environmental stewardship at community events

This year, the Eco Crew:

  • Removed 1105 square metres of invasive plants such as blackberries
  • Attended five community events
  • Removed 123lbs of trash from the community

Tomorrow, I will be continuing to post about what happened at last night’s council meeting.

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