New Playground Process Underway For Forest Hill Heights

Marek Tkach

The residents of the Forest Hill Heights subdivision in Kitimat have petitioned for a new park in their neighbourhood.

A lengthy debate at Kitimat council this week had councillors searching for the best way to handle the situation.

A thick patch of trees and bushes currently crowd the area between Wakita Avenue and Wozney Street in Kitimat.

Before any planning is done, the first step will be for the district to clear the area.

"That's just my opinion that should happen first so at least can go back and look at it and say is this going to be a park or a playground, because there is a difference." Councillor Larry Walker said.

With numerous projects on the go for the Kitimat Public Works department a new playground this year may seem like a stretch.

"This is the first I'm hearing of a need for a playground, I think that there is other ones that we've already promised, and need to move forward on. I feel like we spent a lot of our budget this year on parks and playgrounds, and things of that nature. I don't see why it would be much of an issue to just refer it to next years budget." Said Councillor Claire Ratee.

By a vote of 5 to 2, the installation of a possible playground will be referred to 2019.

A forty- five signature petition of people in favour of a new park was handed to the district earlier this year.

"I think it's great to see people advocating for playgrounds and stuff, and it is true, we're getting more families moving back and the real indication of a successful community isn't how many jobs you have, it's how many families you have." Mayor Phil Germuth said.

The estimated cost of clearing the the land which is approximately 2- thousand square metres is around 50- thousand dollars, while playground installation will have an estimated price tag of 80-thousand dollars.

"I'd say if they can get a head start on it early next year. They need to work with the neighbourhood to see what the equipment they want and how that's going to work out. Hopefully by the end of next year if all goes well.. they can have a playground there."

District administration has recommended a local residents playground committee be formed so more detailed budget information can be provided to council come early next year.

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