The Qathet Regional District (qRD) will consider nearly $28,000 in improvements to regional parks to improve accessibility.
At the July 14 Committee of the Whole meeting, trustees unanimously passed a motion asking the regional council to review proposed projects to improve accessibility and recommended that council direct staff to include projects in the preliminary budget plan for 2023.
Electoral Area B Director Mark Gisborne said the list of proposed projects aligns exactly with what trustees have heard in the community about where the Regional District can do better on accessibility.
“It’s so important to everyone in our community, not just people with disabilities,” Gisborne said. “I’ve heard of young mothers pushing strollers who may experience similar challenges with uneven surfaces.”
Gisborne said browsing through the list of projects got him thinking about active transportation corridors, such as access to the Yaroshuk trail system and the Myrtle Creek Bridge.
“Looking at the list, it seems primarily focused on our regional district parks and lands,” Gisborne said. “I am curious about the active transportation corridors on which we have partnered with the Ministry of Transportation and how these could potentially be incorporated into a future slate of projects. »
Director of Operational Services Patrick Devereaux said it was not the property of the Regional District. He said working on projects with the ministry and other agencies takes more time and the regional district has no permits on those lands.
“That being said, if the admins have any suggestions, please email me and I’ll add it to future lists and review it later,” Devereaux added. “We will assess the projects and the board will have the opportunity to address them in future budget deliberations.”
Electoral Area D Director and Committee Chair Sandy McCormick asked if the items Devereaux recommended would be on the capital plan for council consideration.
Devereaux said it would depend on the project. He said that all projects are assessed separately. Larger projects, like the one proposed for Palm Beach, would certainly be an investment project, he added, while others will be internal operating projects.
“A lot of them, where the costs are there for $1,000 or $1,500, that cost would already be in the operating budget,” Devereaux said. “We’re not talking about a big chunk of money for these projects, but the bigger projects will definitely be in the capital plan.”
Electoral Area E Director Andrew Fall said he appreciated the approach.
“We have a list of projects,” Fall said. “It’s obviously a living list. There will be added items and the items will be checked. We will be able to report on that, which is great.
Electoral Area C Director Clay Brander said he wanted to show his appreciation for Devereaux and his team.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Brander said.
McCormick said it was something the regional district needed to do.
“If we want to be open to the public, we have to be open to all the public,” she added.
If Regional Council approves the initiative, projects would be undertaken in Diver’s Rock Regional Park, Klah Ah Men Lund Gazebo Regional Park, Craig Regional Park, Haywire Bay Regional Campground, Myrtle Rocks, Palm Beach Regional Park and Canoe Bay. access to the beach. Total costs would be $27,700.