Councillors have approved the expenditure of $800,000 out of the Radley Park reserve fund to upgrade the municipal park, as well as put work into Hirsch Creek Park.
The $800,000 has sat in a reserve fund since 2012 for riverbank armouring but trouble with Radley Park’s septic system has put extra impetus on the staff to see other work get done at the park.
From that $800,000, $150,000 will be for installing either a new lift station or septic field to replace the current failed system, $200,000 to install a new road along the dike to make more room in the park for campsites. Staff also plans to spend $170,000 to construct new showers and washroom area.
Relatively smaller costs include $80,000 for installing 10 new campsites with electrical hook-ups, convert eight existing sites to electrical, and install a wheelchair accessible trail at Hirsch Creek Park.
Radley Park in particular has had a long history of studies and lots of options for spending over the past several years.
Staff’s report to council pointed to a hydraulic consultants report from 2007 on the Kitimat River’s migration, then in 2011 consultants were hired to prepare “conceptual ideas for the retrofit of Radley Park,” followed by a follow-up review on the river’s migration in 2012, and then a survey was done of the park in 2013.
Kitimat had contemplated armouring the riverbank at Radley Park to fight erosion but concerns from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Haisla deterred the town from pursuing that route, but log jams on the river were removed, which did reduce the flow of the river past the park.
The report also notes that since 2005, 15 campsites at Radley have been lost due to erosion.
None have been lost in the last two years though.
Councillor Corinne Scott did note that the money being spent with the pre-approval does not include any erosion protection, which is what the original money was set aside for.
She wasn’t against the work being done but she did have issue with pre-approval and was not convinced such action was needed.
“I do understand there is a project that needs to get a request for proposal out…but I’m not convinced that $800,000 has to be pre-approved out of our budget,” she said.
All councillors save for Scott voted in favour of allowing the pre-approval of the money.