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REPORTING · 19th December 2011
Walter McFarlane
A letter from the School Board was a topic at the Kitimat City Council Meeting on November 21st. The letter requested proper lighting for the neighbourhood’s underpass, stating the students were avoiding it in favour of crossing Kingfisher.

A motion was moved by Randy Halyk, who was a Councillor at the time, to look into the lighting of the Underpass. Walter McLellan, the Community Clerk explained to Council this was one of two concerns which came out of the transition committees, the other regarded snow clearing.

“It’s true, the lights under it are broken, when I talked to Tim [Glieg, District Engineer], that’s the explanation he gave me, to put directional lights in. I reported that back and actually went out at midnight in the spring and walked through it back and forth. In my opinion, the lighting is adequate and they might disagree,” said McLellan.

McLellan added there had to be an enhanced level of snow clearing because there would be more students and this was left to the engineering department.

“There was one point, and I know because I brought it up, these costs should be School District costs. They closed the school in Kitimat, which we didn’t agree with and the savings went to Terrace, they didn’t come here. Then they factored in costs of the closure,” said McLellan. “These are transition costs, if there are increased costs, it shouldn’t fall on the taxpayers of Kitimat.”

Halyk said this is a safety and lighting issue. He was concerned about ‘nasties’ taking place in the underpass and suggested a bright light bulb.

Glieg explained the light was replaced by lighting on exterior of the underpass which lights its interior. He suggested Council look at it and there is no illumination problem with it. He suggested filling in the older fixtures so people do not assume the underpass is not being maintained. The lights have not been hooked up for 30 years.

Councillor Corrine Scott agreed the transition funding should cover any of these additional costs. Councillor Rob Goffinet proposed an amendment to arrange an inspection with a member of the school board during a time of poor lighting to inspect the conditions. Both the amendment and the motion were carried.
One of many parents that are not too impressed
Comment by Susie on 19th December 2011
I also suggest that Council members and Mr. Gleig go to Nechako Centre Parking lot after a heavy snowfall at 8:50am. It is just a matter of time before a child gets seriously injured or even killed. We have been told the parking lot is not priority. The sidewalk up to the school has also been so treacherous that kids can barely make it up or down due to the ice. That sidewalk is District property. I appreciate that there is going to be an adjustment period but safety of the kids is paramount and so far the ``enhanced level of snow removal hasn`t been happening. If parents are expected to use that parking lot for drop off or pick up then it would be a good idea for the School Board and District to work together and stop passing the buck from one to the other. All these things were discussed at the transition meetings and I am very confused as to why snow removal and the underpass have not been sorted out. As I said, I really hope it doesn`t take a child being run over, breaking a leg or assaulted for things to improve.