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White Rock Council top priorities on-track for 2022: city

City implementing return of public waste management, parks and walkway upgrades
White Rock council top priorities for 2021-22 appear to be on-track going into the new year. (File photo)

The City of White Rock is on track with a number of council’s top priorities for 2021-22.

Council received a status update from staff on priority items at its last meeting of the year, on Dec. 13.

Foremost among these was the return of multi-family and commercial waste pickup to city management, result of a council decision on Oct. 4.

The amended Collection, Removal, Disposal and Recycling of Solid Waste Bylaw essentially reverses a controversial decision to privatize multi-family and commercial solid-waste collection made by the previous council in 2015.

Although the move from private services will be phased in up to March 27, 2023, a principal piece for the city is the recruitment of a solid-waste co-ordinator, currently ongoing, and the hiring of a solid-waste consultant.

The latter was the subject of an RFP issued by the city, which has a closing date for submissions of Jan. 17.

Also on the priorities list are a number of ‘shovel in the ground’ park and walkway improvements, funded by Community Amenity Contributions from recent and current construction projects in the uptown core.

READ MORE: Encroachments a ‘tender’ issue in White Rock’s Centre Street Walkway project

Among these, council was informed, was an upgrade to Emerson Park (on Columbia Avenue at Lee Street) for which a contract has been signed, and for which the contractor is ordering materials.

For Maccaud Park (at Kent Street and North Bluff Road), design is underway, incorporating feedback from parks staff regarding trees.

Work is continuing on the planned Centre Street Hillside Walkway upgrade, council was told.

Staff has worked with an archeological consultant to conduct an archeological overview assessment (AOA) for the walkway corridor, which has also involved continuing dialogue with Semiahmoo First Nation (SFN).

Council was told it is considered advisable to move to the next step and carry out a more detailed AOA, with a completion schedule, including consultation with SFN and the provincial ministry, within six months so as not to affect the project schedule.

Legal discussions continue with two affected properties in the walkway plan, as well as access relocation for a third property, while detailed design continues with input from the parks department as well as consideration of potential public art.

Upgrading of hillside walkways from road ends to the waterfront are also proceeding at Blackwood and Vidal Streets and other locations, with redesigned walkways cleaned and planted for spring, the report stated.

Another overall priority is ongoing consultations between SFN and the city which, council was told in the update, are still ongoing.