Columbia Avenue Facelift Timing Unknown

Kallee Lins
By Kallee Lins
July 30th, 2009

Columbia Avenue can expect a spruce up, but it may not be for a while. In a letter distributed to Council and discussed at the meeting Monday night, city engineer Mike Thomas presented an outline of the project to rebuild Columbia Avenue. Not much can be known however about the timing of the project until the BC government replies to the City regarding the grant application for what is officially titled the Columbia Avenue Infrastructure Project.

The intent of the project, and most of the grant funding, will be centred upon “Replacing aging water, sewer, and storm water infrastructure along Columbia Avenue in the business district,” as noted by Mike Thomas in his memo to Council. All water and sewer mains and connections will be completely replaced in the business district of Columbia along with the addition of storm water connections to divert storm water away from the sanitary system.

In order to complete this work, nearly everything will be removed from the north side of the street, including streetlights, trees and street furniture. However, the councillors highlighted that the south side of the street will be virtually untouched during the process. Councilors are well aware, and seem to take concern to the disparity that will occur between the two sides of the street. Councilor Spearn noted, “Kimberley is currently going through a reconstruction,” so the City of Rossland will likely look into the logistics of their plan to aid in preparations.

“I think it’s a very significant project for the city, so I want to see as much community involvement as possible,” declared Councilor Wallace in support of holding public design meetings. “It has to be done right.” All agreed that this project is substantial enough to hold a city meeting on the issue, but the engineer confirmed that at the current time there is not enough information to share.

Funding has been requested to reinstall the sidewalk, streetlights and furniture that will likely be removed. Additional funding will be applied for later through the Trees for Tomorrow program in order to replace any trees that are removed during the process.

The project is merely in its preliminary planning phase, the details of which will be solidified once engagements with contractors and consultants are established. Council expects to hear back from the Province regarding funding by the end of the summer. City meetings, including a Public Forum of Design will likely follow in the fall to keep the public informed. As Mike Thomas states in his memorandum, “The City aims to keep the public informed of the project’s process through newsletters, the media, and council meetings.

Categories: Politics

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