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REPORTING · 28th November 2014
Walter McFarlane
Photos taken the 9th of November show some debris upon the Radley Park Shoreline.

The topic of Radley Park Erosion came up twice at the Kitimat City Council Meetings in November. On November 3rd, Councillor Phil Germuth brought it up at the Regular Meeting of Council.

“It’s been brought to my attention by a few residents that there has been some recent Radley Park Erosion,” said Germuth. “I know we were under the impression that the river course had changed and no further erosion had taken place.”

He reminded Council they have invested in the park and asked staff if they knew of any recent erosion.

“As Council is aware, in the last four weeks, we’ve had significant rainfalls. There was a period of time where the water raised significantly at Radley Park. We did lose a section of the riverbank to the river. To be perfectly honest, that section wasn’t all that unexpected that that small section may disappear in the future,” said Leisure Services Director, Martin Gould.

He stated they went down there and are still convinced the river had straightened out and the river was going in a direction along the riverbank. He said the island in front of the park is growing. Finally, the section that is going in front of the park is cutting itself off and going to the other side of the river.

“That being said, going back to the people who do the river study for us once and a while, they said there are no guarantees. The river can make up its own mind and change direction any time it wanted. In fact, if worse comes to worst and we had high water for months and months on end, which could possibly happen, we could lose a lot more than a small portion of Radley Park,” said Gould.

He pointed out they could do a lot of damage to the water intakes if the river goes in the direction opposite the park. The opinion is the river is straightening out in front of the park.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff asked if they have lost any more sites. The reply from Gould was no.

Councillor Mary Murphy expressed she was told there were three campsites lost so she went to the park and found there was some land which was lost. She asked if there was anything the District could do to offset the loss of park land.

Gould explained when they approached fisheries concerning putting in Riprap, the response was no. They were told this would change the course of the river. If this change affects something downstream, the District will be responsible for the costs. In addition, they would have to do a complete river study to learn how it would affect the river further down.

He said there was another option though. They could dig a trench and put the Riprap into the trench. If the river did erode back to the riprap, it would create a wall at that point and it would be considered a part of the natural river embankment. They would still be responsible for any changes downstream.

Feldhoff expressed this was strange. He expressed the future Council should look at it.

“We missed the boat. We put some monies aside years ago and we could have done things at a much lower cost. Unfortunately, we were caught with the Eurocan Closure and we had to reallocate some funds. Things have changed, the river’s direction has changed… it’s expensive. There would be value in a future Council taking a look at the report, taking a look at updated information which has since happened since the report was most recently updated because it is complicated,” said Feldhoff.

Councillor Mary Murphy returned to Council after the election to ask staff to revisit the Radley Park Erosion issue and make recommendations to stop the erosion on Monday, November 17th.

“They have been dealing with the erosion at Radley Park for some time and I’ve gone over a file from 2008 on… where there have been lots of people involved and made recommendations all the way through and each time it has come to Council for whatever reason, including 2011, we opt to do nothing and it apparently is something which needs to be addressed,” said Murphy.

She reminded Council there is $800,000 dollars put aside to maintain the park and they need to protect this investment. The money was not dedicated to the erosion.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff agreed with the motion. They did put $450,000 aside years back to deal with it but the money was cannibalized due to the closure of Eurocan and the need to spend the money on other things.

He expressed there may be an opportunity to fix the banks due to recent changes in the river.

“In the past, the DFO frowned upon and they wouldn’t allow the placement of riprap in the river, but they would allow the placement of self-launching riprap which is kind of hard to figure,” said Feldhoff. “Now, we have elements of the river that are dry. There may be an opportunity to place riprap rather than self-launching.”

Murphy expressed she met with Jack Oviatt who wants to help Council come up with some solutions. She added there was a natural diversion which they could capture and it might not affect the plans which are in front of it.

The Motion was called and carried.
Hylandpyne
Comment by CEM on 14th December 2014
I understood the money for Hirsch Creek Park went to the Kitimat Animal Shelter.
Radley Park
Comment by Leon Dumstrey-SooS on 3rd December 2014
It is a 50 years old problem just like Kildala Channel, whose regular maintenance were neglected by Administrations Engineering and Councils lack of fective management of the same.

Reading the expert comments -why and what can not be done not what can be done-of the present Recreation Director I am concerned for the future of Radley Park.
park money
Comment by j.s. on 28th November 2014
ware has all the money from herch creek park been goin all these years. it would be nice if jack oviatt helped them out with what to do at radley ,maybe he can help them out with what to do at hersch creek park also.