Council told to keep town heritage through walkways

Residents continue to rally to keep intact Kitimat's famous walkways.

Don’t tear up Kitimat’s heritage.

That’s the request from Kitimat resident John Allsop, the man whom some may remember as the person who personally cleared the neglected Gander Crescent walkway after he moved to town this past summer. (Sentinel, Sept. 5, 2012.)

Allsop returned to Kitimat Council on Dec. 3 to continue to fight for the preservation on the walkway.

Administration had marked the walkway for demolition but the plan was pushed back from it’s initial 2012 schedule, and now is in limbo while council decides if they want to keep it.

Following his last appearance at council, councillors had voted for staff to take a closer look at the walkway, and an on-site meeting was conducted on August 23.

In Allsop’s presentation he said that, from a historical point of view, the walkway which runs behind his home on Gander Crescent is unique because it’s the only completely curved walkway in town.

He also spoke to the proposed budget of $70,000 which it would cost to remove the walkway if it was decommissioned.

“In times of constraint in which we’re all suffering…could it be a prudent thing to remove a perfectly good pathway, bar a few cracked pieces?”

He said that 87 per cent of the walkway is in perfectly fine shape.

New deputy CAO for the District, Warren Waycheshen, said that looking back at past direction regarding this walkway, he believes there is no current directive for staff to act on decommissioning it anymore, since council asked for the on-site visit in August.

So then it would come down to council to provide more direction on this matter.

Erika Prett, representing the Kitimat Heritage Group at the December 3 council meeting publicly thanks Allsop for his work on the walkway.

“You have clearly demonstrated what a dedicated citizen can do,” she said.

The Heritage Group has been petitioning council over the years to maintain the walkway system and greenbelt network.

She said the group agrees about the Gander walkway’s unique curved form and thinks the sidewalk should be deemed as special heritage and sparred from decommissioning.

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