Kitimat man cleans up walkway behind house – gets council’s attention

A local man is taking up the task of clearing the walkway that runs behind his house.

A local man is taking up the task of clearing the walkway that runs behind his house even though the District of Kitimat has the walkway scheduled for decommissioning.

John Patrick Allsop moved to Kitimat this past July, to take up a volunteer teaching position in Kitamaat Village to teach reading.

With today’s housing crunch he was pleased to find a rental home on Gander Crescent, but found the walkway that connects two portions of Gyrfalcon Avenue with Gannet Crescent in need of serious repair.

Using only a shovel, a chainsaw and a wheelbarrow the nearly-70-year-old went to work and spent his summer months bringing the pathway back to life. Underneath the overgrowth, the walkway itself appeared in good condition.

The entire walkway is about 180 metres or 500ft.

Allsop’s work didn’t change the mind of the District’s administration who recommended the status quo of removing the walkway when Allsop’s letter arrived in council’s agenda for Aug. 20. In that letter Allsop describes the work he has done to clear the walkway.

“I love the pathways here in Kitimat. I’ve never seen them before,” he later told the Sentinel.

In council’s report from the engineering department, they note that consultation was done with homeowners in the area and 75 per cent of residents responded, with all the respondents in favour of the walkway removal for the purpose of improving drainage.

“The walkway shows little evidence of use and has deteriorated to the point that it requires closure or replacement,” the report states.

Also, due to the walkway’s narrow 10ft corridor, it would be more expensive to replace the walkway than others in town would cost.

The walkway was initially budgeted for removal in Feb. 2011, but with higher than expected costs for the entire walkway program the money was transferred to other walkway replacement projects.

In 2012 the funding was reapproved for removing the Gander/Gannet walkway but administration say that staff shortages in the engineering department means the work will likely now take place in the spring of 2013.

The removal of the walkway is budgetted for $75,000.

In response to Allsop’s letter he has seen a stream of engineers and town councillor’s visit the walkway and his home.

Six out of Kitimat’s seven member council toured the sidewalk along with staff last Tuesday and councillor Rob Goffinet said they will keep the issue in focus for the time being.

“We decided to study further the concept the sidewalk plan, [and] we’re going to ask staff to fill us in specifically on what they see [are] the problems with the sidewalk,” said Goffinet.

He did say work will be done ahead of the fall to prevent issues regarding water.

“In the meantime as we look at this…the drainage will be taken care of and there won’t be any ramifications for drainage over the wet season coming up.”

Goffinet said that they did talk to some homeowners on the street on the issue and said there are varying points of view with what people want to see done, however he didn’t elaborate on the specifics except to say that they will look at whether the walkway is in structrual disrepair or merely needs maintanence.

Allsop said that he has talked to at least one neighbour on his street who voiced that they would prefer to have the walkway remain closed.

But Allsop believes in the value of the walkway system in Kitimat.

“I like to walk to town, I like to leave the vehicle here and it’s only a ten minute walk [to downtown],” he said. “This is what we should be encouraging here. Not people driving. These were put in for that reason.”

Just Posted

Kitimat resident is Conservative choice for fall election

Claire Rattée is a former Kitimat councillor

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

LNG Canada sponsors driver’s license training in Terrace, Kitimat

The $80,000 contribution is part of the company’s commitment to hire locally

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

Most Read