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REPORTING · 29th October 2015
Walter McFarlane
The brand new Christmas Tree came up at a Special Meeting of Council on Monday, October 26th. Councillor Rob Goffinet brought it up under new business. He asked staff to supply a status report. He was informed by Mayor Phil Germuth the new tree was installed earlier that day.

A report in the Information Package for that meeting included a report on the plans for the Christmas Tree Plaza, located on the District Land near the Haisla Town Centre. The report says the event plaza will have seat walls, steps, ramps, a hard surfaced plaza and an event stand.

The report also says the plaza had to be shifted a few meters to the South of it's initial planned location. It will be doing this to make room for a sidewalk which will be going through District land.

“A tree was installed today in a temporary location,” said Gwendolyn Sewell, head of the Planning Department. “It will be moved to its permanent planter later this year and it will be lit in December.”

Councillor Mary Murphy expressed confusion, as it was called a white spruce, and the tree installed was green in colour. Councillor Mario Feldhoff expressed he was under the impression it was supposed to be a blue spruce.

Feldhoff wanted to know more about the final plaza. He asked if they should build the plaza prior to moving the tree into it. Sewell explained to Council they wanted to make sure the tree arrived in a timely manner. It will be installed in a temporary location while they construct the plaza and then moved into the planter which will be in the plaza.

“Council has not yet committed to the plaza construction, but the planter will be going up this year,” said Sewell.

Murphy asked if this plaza will be similar to the one in Terrace. “Will there be a tree and some kind of stage?” asked Murphy.

Sewell was not certain what Terrace has, so Murphy asked if it could be used as a community gathering area. Sewell stated it could if Council commits to the project.

Feldhoff asked if there will be a permanent walkway into the downtown core. He was told there will be a crosswalk through the area which will lead down to the walkway lane.

Goffinet stated the lighting of the tree was slated for the 1st of December, and the Light up Kitimat event is in November. He added this was the case last year as well and asked if the two dates could be coordinated. Sewell expressed she did not have responsibility for any of these events.

Head of the Leisure Services, Martin Gould, offered to keep Council informed and hoped something would be coordinated. Tim Gleig, Head of Engineering, told Council the Light up Kitimat event will be taking place in the Mountainview Square and they hope to have it lit up for the event.

Germuth asked when power is expected at the new tree site. The response from Sewell was there will be temporary power this year and permanent power in the years to come. There were no further questions.
Covered Area
Comment by EStannus on 1st November 2015
There was discussion (maybe not public) of having a covered area/gazebo in the green space between the library and Royal Bank complex. Wondered what happened to this?

Smithers has a very beautiful and funcional covered stage where citizens can gather to hear music/announcements. Wonder when Kitimat will have something similar?
get with it council
Comment by kitimat first on 31st October 2015
why on earth wasn't a "sitka spruce" indigenous to the area not planted ? we have councillors who worked in the forest industry who have no idea what a tree is making decisions about trees ! and other councilors asking about trees after it was planted ! get with the program
Comment by Rory Brown on 30th October 2015
A Plaza. Really. Just when I thought council had finally started using their heads for something other than wearing hats, they prove me wrong. Year after year we are told there is no money for a much needed sidewalk down Quatsino Blvd. where children walk to the soccer fields, but a park plaza it getting considered? What's next, elevators for outhouses. That was a joke, don't send the idea out for engineering. Council needs to post what their prioritys for spending are, and let the tax payers decide.
Community Plaza?
Comment by Lucy McRae on 30th October 2015
I agree that Kitimat needs a Community Plaza that would include a bandstand where music could be played and a gathering place where speakers can do outdoor presentations. However I don't feel this is a good place for that as the traffic can be very noisy on this corner. An example is when Premier C. Clark did a presentation to the Haisla Nation using a microphone and the traffic made it difficult to hear and that was quite a ways further back toward Albatross. At the time some protestors were blamed for the noise but it was actually the traffic that was the problem. If Kitimat grows and I'm sure most residents hope it does then the traffic will be even more of an issue. I hope Council thinks very carefully before making any big spending plans.
Comment by Carol on 30th October 2015
A covered area would be nice due to the inclement weather in Kitimat. While in Stewart this past summer I was quite impressed with their walkway and covered area. Check their website to see pictures. It would be nice if all the trees in that area had lights. Perhaps each club or a business could put lights on a tree.
Lets not forget the park overlooking Douglas Channel, beautiful view but some pruning of trees would make for better viewing and a walkway so people don't have to walk on the shoulder of the road. Would be nice to have this area with lights on some of the trees also.
Covered Area?
Comment by EStannus on 29th October 2015
Wondering if parts of this plaza will be covered?
There is no outdoor structure for people to congregate in other than covered picnic areas. Really need an area for outdoor concerts/presentations and so forth.