Centennial Park finds defenders

Tearing down a heritage site in Kitimat is not the answer to money and maintenance concerns say several community members.

Tearing down a heritage site in Kitimat is not the answer to money and maintenance concerns say several community members.

“Kitimat residents have an emotional tie to [Centennial] Park,” said Walter Thorne, representative of the Kitimat Heritage group. “The park is a defining feature of Kitimat because of its structural elements, once sending a message of town stability and urban affluence.”

Several people attended  the sole community engagement meeting at city council June 20 to give opinions about revamping Centennial Park. Aspects of the park were deemed “in dire condition” by city staff. Council is looking for alternatives to complete restoration.

In a report to council earlier this year, director of recreation Martin Gould proposed removing the wall and unnecessary walkways, covering the fountain with a flower bed, leaving the totem pole, and repairing the rest for about $50, 000.

But Thorne said spending money to restore both wall and fountain are worth it. He suggested using district money to rebuild the wall using the same stone, replace missing lettering, use above-ground plumbing and lighting and lining the pool.

“We feel it’s hasty to try and get rid of it,” he said.

The Kitimat chamber of commerce and the tourism committee also suggested staying plans to change the park, instead offering to help with a two or three year plan to maintain as much as possible.

But councillor Bob Corless expressed confusion over attachment to the wall.

“That park has never really seen a lot of people,” he said. “It just seems to me that [the wall] blocks something when I’m sitting there looking at it.”

Post-meeting, council told city staff to get further cost estimates for restoring the park. The report about money is set to come back June 30. From there, council will decide a course of action.

 

 

 

Attachment, though, defines Heritage said Louise XX, also from the heritage group.

 

 

 

“It doesn’t have to be old to be heritage,” she said.

 

 

 

City staff were instructed by council to obtain further cost estimates for restoring the park. The report about money is set to come back June 30. From there, council will decide a course of action.

The park is time-worn, but not dangerous, said Gould.

“We’d very much like to work with the district and look at possibilities instead of tearing down the wall,” said Trish Parsons who represented both the chamber of commerce and tourism committee at the meeting.

 

“We’d very much like to work with the district and look at possibilities instead of tearing down the wall,” said Trish Parsons who represented both the chamber of commerce and tourism committee at the meeting.