REPORTING · 17th May 2013
Mayor Joanne Monaghan stepped down from the Mayor’s seat on Monday, May 13th so she could make a motion to discuss maintenance and infrastructure at Hirsch Creek Park.
“I’ve had possibly 8 or 9 phone calls from people who are saying: ‘you know, we’re hearing that we’re not being able to go down to the ocean perhaps and we really miss Hirsch Creek, we like to be able to take our kids down there, we can watch the Salmon spawn, we can be by the river, and is there any way that we can have a little bit more maintenance down there?’”
She suggested cutting the grass or putting in a new picnic table. She pointed out the Lavatories there were still working. Councillor Mario Feldhoff stated families were still able to use the park, even though it was being maintained as a wilderness park.
“From my perspective, I want to use caution. We hold off on all the wants until we get our industrial assessment and diversify and build up,” said Feldhoff.
He suggested there were a few things which Council could do down there. He said he would be willing to look at it with direction from the Liesure Services Department.
Monaghan said they were asking for the grass to be cut so kids could play by the river. “It’s getting to the point where if we don’t do it, I feel like taking a lawn mower down there and doing it myself,” said Monaghan.
Councillor Phil Germuth wanted to look into the possibility of increasing the number of camp sites at Hirsch Creek Park.
Councillor Mary Murphy said she uses the park on a regular basis and there are a lot of people who are using it, they are keeping the park clean and it would take little maintenance. She agreed with both Germuth on creating campsite and Councillor Mario Feldhoff on watching where the money is going. She suggested looking at where they are already allocating money and putting it into the project.
Feldhoff made a motion to refer to staff. This way they could see what it might cost for maintenance and campsites. “We may in the end decide to do exactly what the Mayor is asking for but we may choose something different. I think a report from staff would be helpful,” said Feldhoff.
Martin Gould, head of Leisure Services explained why they made the park a wilderness park, to save money during the closure of Eurocan. The money came from maintenance of the field, supplying wood and patrolling the campsites and collecting fees.
He added one of the reasons this was changed to a wilderness park was so they would not have to patrol the campsites. If they knowingly allowed for camping at the park, maintain the fields and campsites, they would have to patrol the park a minimum of three times a day. At the moment, the park is camp at your own risk. They have also saved money by not replacing picnic tables and fire pits.
“It always amazes me how something so simple as please cut the grass a little bit so kids don’t trip over the grass so they could get down to the river turns into 21000 whatever. I can’t believe it,” said Monaghan. “If staff want to come back with some visions of their own, that’s fine but I’m only asking for a bit of grass cutting and that’s about it.”
On request of Germuth, Gould stated he would bring Council back a menu so they could look it over and choose what they want to do with the park. Gould also told Council they cannot touch the trees on the riverbank without getting involved with fisheries.
Monaghan did not want the alder’s cut. She said the grass was too long in the park. She takes her dogs down there and they hop along like squirrels because they cannot get through the grass. She suggested cutting the grass once every two weeks would be fine.
The motion was called and carried and the chair was turned back over to Monaghan.
Comment by CEM on 30th May 2013
Has the District of Kitimat council actually taken a good look at the Hirsch Creek area. The picnic tables need to be powerwashed of moss, lower branches need to be cut to feel safer walking along the trails and road. This is bear country and a person doesn't have a chance with all the thick brush. As for the alders, some need to be cut, makes for good firewood. We have enough trees.
Wouldn't hurt to clean up the covered area where the firepit and what's left of the sitting area. Trees along the highway should be cut then this area isn't so hidden from the public. For heaven's sake we have enough trees in this area. Then the city plants more trees to block the view of Douglas Channel. Hopefully now that some of the land has been sold along Haisla.... some of these trees blocking this million dollar view will be cut.
Comment by liz mac on 22nd May 2013
I would love to see the Mayor & Council revise the wilderness park designation for the Creek....this is an awesome opportunity to start the "re-build" of Kitimat and it's resources!!! Paid campsites....absolutely....Good Job guys!
Comment by marymurphy on 20th May 2013
Cruiiff, the ski hill was granted 15 grand, as they requested, hirsch creek golf course was granted 50 grand, and are requesting the other 50 grand along with city partnership. These delegation of these funds are to be determined. It is sad that you feel this new council is doing nothing, and please do come to council meetings and voice concern to stop supporting community incentives and projects. Grants proposals are public and write to the council requesting these grants be stopped.
Now Town Council is headed in the right direction
Comment by Larry Walker on 17th May 2013
Congratulations to the Mayor and Council....you are headed in the right direction. Keep up the good work.
Comment by J.Cruijff on 17th May 2013
If Council can slam 30 grand into a ski hill, 100 grand plus into a golfcourse, untold thousands into a tennis court at the highschool, I think they can put some money towards the upkeep of the Hirsch Creek campsite. Collect the money from the freeloaders who park at the river every year and leave us with their shit, literally.
Mind the picture of the mayor mowing the lawn would be priceless, that would be more productive work than the council has been doing lately.