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REPORTING · 31st May 2014
Walter McFarlane
Walter Thorne, chair of the Kitimat Heritage Group, was at Council on Monday, May 26th to talk about sidewalks.

He explained there is a lot in Kitimat to get excited about right now. In the last couple of weeks, there was the discovery of a pioneer wagon at the Anderson Farm and they were looking forward to working with the people to get access to the site.

“However, even finds like that pale in their scope to something like the Kitimat greenbelt walkway system. We can see a day, sometime in Kitimat’s future, where Kitimat may be a national historic site or specially recognized in Canada and around the world for its wonderful plan. That defining walkway greenbelt system is a model that’s looked at from afar and we really treasure it,” said Thorne.

Thorne thanked the administration of the District of Kitimat for a tour which was taken almost a year ago of the sidewalks around town where they explained what the plans were for the various sidewalks. He expressed things have not worked out the way they were planned. The Heritage Group wanted to know if there were any further plans for the sidewalks which were slated for decommissioning, is the 2013 walkway plan going ahead and if there was still a problem tendering contracts.

Tim Gleig, District Engineer explained they did not receive any tenders last year. They added the money for this year’s program which is out for Tender at the moment. He said there were no walkway removal surveys out this year. “We have no intention of proceeding with any walkway removals this year,” said Gleig.

Thorne expressed there are many avid walkers in Kitimat and he wanted to know if the vision of the Clarence Stine Plan would continue as it was ahead of its time. He pointed out the Wakita development honours the plan with sidewalks, but Strawberry Meadows does not reflect the Clarence Stine Vision. He asked if the Clarence Stine Plan could be incorporated in the future.

Gwendolyn Sewell, City Planner, replied there is a walkway system planned for Strawberry Meadows which would be along the creek which will be turned over to the municipality in stages. There are plans for a perimeter system as well. She told him every component of the town will have a walkway system.

“There’s a lot of people who do contact us about the sidewalk system. It’s certainly something that a lot of citizens are concerned about. It’s really dear to our hearts and it’s something that makes our town very special and is very important to us in our heritage group to see it live on and prosper,” said Thorn.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted to know how much the walkway program was expected to cost this y ear and suggested another walkway tour where they look at the walkway system and talk about the plans for the future. Gleig answered it was about 700,000. It would depend on where the tenders come in as to whether it was cut back or needed to be added to.
I could not agree more.....
Comment by Larry Walker on 31st May 2014
This internal walkway system is very unique to Kitimat and I would hate to see abandoned in any shape or form.