A Williams Lake resident’s request that sidewalks be installed on Fourth Avenue North has prompted city council to pursue more for the city.
Cathie Froese lives on McDougall Street and told council at the Tuesday, May 21 committee of the whole meeting she is concerned with the the lack of a sidewalk on either side of Fourth Avenue.
“As someone who worked for the provincial government for 30 years, I drove down North Fourth every day. It can be very busy, particularly before and after work and school,” Froese said. “Essentially it’s dangerous as far as I’m concerned. People never walk on the lawns, they always walk on the road, which is what I would do too because you feel like you are trespassing.”
Winter can be even more dangerous, she added.
“I thought about this for years and years and finally said, ‘what are you waiting for?’ and finally wrote you a letter.”
Coun. Craig Smith asked if it is problematic putting sidewalks in on people’s lawns because there is no extra room there.
Froese said when they moved to McDougall Street there were no sidewalks.
“The City came along several years later and said they were putting the sidewalk in, that it was not our property, and if we looked at the surveyor sketch that property does belong to the City,” she said. “I’ve been grateful to have it there ever since.”
Coun. Ivan Bonnell said it is an issue.
“For some reason it wasn’t built up to standards at the time. We can’t go backwards, but if you go to a new subdivision in the community today, all these standards are met.”
There are many areas in the city that are the same, Bonnell added.
“This is one street of many neigbourhoods in our community.”
Council agreed to refer the item to the 2020 public works budget.
Coun. Sheila Boehm asked how the City will identify other areas?
“It almost needs to be addressed for the whole city to see which areas are lacking,” Boehm said. “There might be lots of other areas that are high need.”
Mayor Walt Cobb said there are other areas.
“Public Works has a plan of where they should go and we only put so much money in the budget and basically what we are seeing here is that we need to ask staff to make Fourth Avenue North a priority so it will be in the 2020 budget,” Cobb said. “We do some new sidewalks every year.”
Froese said afterwards she was happy with council’s response.