Handicap access to riverside fishing has been improved this year thanks to a collaboration between the District of Kitimat and Kitimat Iron, who together have rejuvenated the fishing spot just off from the Kitimat Hatchery.
Those who made it happen gathered at the fishing spot last Thursday to officially open it to the public, although it has been in use since June, just as the fish started coming into the river.
Recognition was freely given to Stewart Bors, a project manager with Kitimat Iron, along with his son Justin and fellow Kitimat Iron worker Roland Sarabun, all of whom pitched in their services to give the fishing spot a brand new handrail and covered shelter, with a concrete walkway.
Stewart said he was contacted by Kitimat Leisure Services’ Director Martin Gould to fix up the handrail which had been worn down by age.
“When I came down here and looked at the handrail it just looked kind of lonely there,” he said.
From that he put together a proposal to do the extra work and handed it in to the District last year, but missed the budget cycle.
This year they were ready and the District pitched in $3,500 for material with Kitimat Iron matching the rest with donated labour and other material.
Roland was in charge of laying the concrete and Justin did carpentry work around the site.
“There were guys using [the spot] already before we had the building up,” said Stewart.
Rene Jenster, chairman of the town’s Disabled Commission, said that the value for this site is quite high and praised the work that went into it.
“It’s very well done and I think it’s going to be well used,” he said.
Linda Campbell, who chairs the Leisure Services Advisory Commission, said that the work done there has opened up the river.
“People in their chairs can actually come down here and if they’re not going to fish they can actually watch others across the river fishing,” she said. “It’s something that needed to be done and I’m very thankful that these guys took up the challenge and did it.”
Mayor Joanne Monaghan said she is very proud of the work that went into rejuvenating the spot.
“It’s wonderful when citizens of a community come together,” she said, adding that she is frequently told how unique a spot like that is from out-of-town visitors.
She added that the spot itself was established in the early 90s, a vision of former town councillor Graham Anderson
Roland Sarabun managed to sum up the project with just a few simple words.
“It was a great project, it serves a good cause, and lets hope there’s more of them.”