Council hears infrastructure complaints

Separate complaints from different areas of town come to council's attention.

Council heard from two separate cases involving complaints around municipal infrastructure at a regular meeting on Monday this week.

The first, a petition submitted by six residents on 18th St. South and one on 12th. Ave S, is a request to have city and water services routed into their homes.

In their petition, the residents noted they have been petitioning the city since Maurice Klinkhamer was mayor in 1970.

“There should be a fire hydrant at the end of 17A St and 11Ave to have the system looped and therefore the ability to flush the line,” wrote the residents in their petition. “We understand that a property owner to the north of us on 12” Ave has also applied for water and sewer services which could be included in the loop. This could all be implemented into the plans.

“We have paid taxes on these properties for approximately 38 years with no water and sewer. It is time this was addressed.”

The petition suggested pursuing grants from the provincial and federal governments to pay for the work.

“It is imperative we get figures on this as soon as possible due to lowered water tables affecting wells and septic systems,” they wrote.

The second correspondence, sent in by two families on Anderson Crescent, is requesting that the infrastructure beneath their road be replaced this fiscal year.

“Far too frequently there are problems with sewer and water leaks that necessitate the water being turned off for a day at a time,” wrote one resident. “This is inconvenient, unhygienic and does not seem fair treatment of taxpaying residents.

“After the water is turned back on, it is brown and full of sediment. This raises concerns about the safety of drinking water in such a state.”

City staff investigated and noted that the road is not listed as a priority road or having priority infrastructure underneath it as detailed in the 2015 Integrated Infrastructure Capital Plan (IICP).

“However, records confirm that, while the water line is not as old as in other areas (1971), it is experiencing premature failures similar to older water lines in the city,” read a staff report to city council. “A  recent site visit confirmed that these failures are also negatively impacting the road surface i a similar manner. In addition, it appears that groundwater issues are present and contributing to the road deterioration.”

The city notes that there were 17 repairs on Anderson Crescent from 2002-2015 with the last repair occurring in September 2015, adding that it is a significant number of issues relative to the length of the road.

“The repairs are attributable to corrosion (electrolysis), rocks on the line (holes), main breaks, service repairs, and valve issues,” read the report. “Some of this can be attributed to soil conditions and others to poor initial construction.”

Engineering staff reported that roads and infrastructure are monitored and updated on the IICP accordingly. Anderson Crescent doesn’t sit in the five year plan, but could be accelerated if premature failure of the infrastructure continues.

Both mayor and councillors sympathized with both cases on 18th St. and Anderson Crescent, directing staff to look into both situations; Mayor Pratt asked staff to get a preliminary budget figure on system loop at 18th St. while also asking staff to look into the IICP priority lists to look into bumping up infrastructure work on Anderson Crescent.

Downtown business priorities

Council received correspondence from Joey Hoechsmann, the president of the Downtown Business Association, that provided information on priorities as identified by DBA members in recent meetings.

The information was gathered at a Town Hall meeting hosted at 1710 Workspace a few weeks ago.

“The Cranbrook DBA appreciates the interest received from Mayor and Council and desires to continue to work proactively with the City towards improvements that will benefit everyone. There were many suggestions named at our Town Hall event,” wrote Hoechsmann.

Priorities varied among a few different categories with the following just a small selection.

• For beautification, seasonal outdoor patios, meeting space/conference centre, additional bike racks and clean up of empty lots were noted as key priorities.

• For downtown events, members identified music festival, beer/wine festival, community dinner outdoors (picnic) with local food/block party/cookoff and and art crawl/art festival/busking festival as ideas to pursue.

• For growing business, DBA members suggested additional dining/pubs, improved promotion of events and signage, more town hall networking events and collaborative marketing and advertising/map of downtown/strengthened branding.

“The Cranbrook DBA is actively coordinating further discussions with its members and stakeholders with the objective being to hear different perspectives on some of the more popular issues. We will keep the City of Cranbrook updated on our progress,” wrote Hoechsmann.

Request for Funding

City council received a few requests for funding from a few different groups.

The 1813 Army Cadets asked for their $70.30 fee to be waived at Rotary Park for a Walkathon on April 9 to honour veterans who served and died during the battle of Vimy Ridge 99 years ago in France.

The organization is hoping to bring together men, women, children and other service groups in the community to assist in walking the 3.6 kilometres to honour the 3,600 Canadian soldiers who died.

There is no fee for the event, however, a $5 donation is appreciated.

The walk will commence at 10:30 a.m. from the Kennedy Hall at 1305 1st St. S and proceed for 3.6 kilometres ending at the Cenotaph in Rotary Park with a barbecue.

The event is raising money to assist cadets travelling to the 100th anniversary of the Vimy Ridge battle, which will be marked by a special centennial ceremony in France in 2017.

The city also received letters requesting funding from Kootenay Zone (Zone 7) for financial support towards the 2016 B.C. 55+ games, which is being hosted in Coquitlam, B.C. and the Mount Baker Dry Grad committee, which requested funding for providing food and punch at Prom.