Prince Rupert City Council has accepted the recommendation from City staff to make use of some funding for the Odd Eidsvik Park in the Atlin Avenue area, the cash to be put towards a study of the condition of the 4th Avenue West pathway.
The Councillors making their decision following a short presentation and discussion period at Monday's Council session.
As we outlined on Monday, the councillors had a report on hand from Operations Director Richard Pucci which provide for the recommendation and other options towards reviewing the current state of the pathway which has been closed for use since the start of the year.
Monday night, Mr. Pucci expanded on the situation related to the Pathway and the current condition that it is in, observing of the need for a further investigation.
"We closed the pathway due to Health and Safety Concerns, the reason why we did this was because of the age of the structure, the build quality, there's a potential for rot in some structural members we believe.
The material and the tree we think that it may have caused some shifting from the linear post on the pedestals and maybe some undermining with the rains.
We're also concerned about code compliance on the entire structure including the stairs now that repairs must be made"
The Operations Director then outlined the various options that Council could consider towards the study
"I've laid out some of the costs there these costs are from proposals that we've received so it's approximately 40,000 dollars. There's a few ways that we can go and fund this.
One is through the paving program, obviously that would mean a reduction in paving.
The Odd Eidsvik Park drainage money, this would postpone the project. We have not received funds through our grants yet, so this will likely be a 2024 project.
There's Parks operation money, but this would reduce the overall parks budget so this would mean a reduction in service.
And then the last is that we could budget it in 2024.
So Staff do understand that many of the public use this pathway, there is another one however off Agnew it is a little bit farther down the street.
We know that the absolute minimum cost is between 35 and 40,000 dollars and any major repairs outside of that, will require me to come back to council to figure out how to pay for any structural repairs that need to be completed"
Towards discussion the Councillors seemed to quickly put their focus on the Eidsvik Park budget option.
"I was just going to go with the recommended Odd Eidsvik Park drainage because if it's not going to be in the budget realistically this year then that would probably make the most sense to use that o0tion of the four that were proposed" -- Councillor Wade Niesh
Councillor Adey noted of the recent interest from the public and posed a question on the impact of their decision on the night.
"I do have a contextual question in that we're kind of talking about two different projects for the purposes of solving a pressing problem and I know that we heard loud and clear how immediate the concern is around the Fourth Avenue pathway.
I would just like to pause just long enough to ask if there's any adverse impacts on the Odd Eidsvik Park project if we were to do this with that portion of the budget" -- Councillor Nick Adey
The Operations Director did confirm that there would be some impact on the park work.
"Absolutely there is a cause and effect here.
The effect is that we will not have the matching funds this year to be able to match against any grant that we get towards that Odd Eidsvik Park and the park will definitely not get done this year and will be pushed into next year.
We believe that if we do get a grant, that grant will allow us to do the work next year. So this will just be postponed into next year. We were planning to do the drainage this year in preparation for the park next year.
However, if Council wishes to go down this route, then we'll have to postpone that." -- Operations Director Richard Pucci
Councillor Cunningham noted of past discussions on accessing transportation funding for the Pathway project, Doctor Buchan noted that that city had applied for Transportation grants but could not divert money from its original use and not for capital projects.
Mr. Pucci noted however, that applying for grants takes time and there is no guarantee of success.
Council voted to used the Eidsvik Park monies towards the required study.
The full discussion on the topic can be reviewed through the City['s video archive staring at the 51 minute mark.
More notes from Monday's City Council Session can be reviewed from our Council session archive page here.