An update was provided to Quesnel City Council last night.
It’s an ambitious plan with patios and decks and piers and even bridges on properties on the Fraser and Quesnel Rivers, as well as Baker Creek.
Mayor Bob Simpson says the ideas come from public consultation in the fall…
“We heard loud and clear when we first went out to the community about getting down on the water, that it was one of those heck ya long overdue, we’ve been in communities where they’ve had those opportunities and it looks like this. So a lot of the patio features, a lot of the overhang features and a lot of the opportunities to engage in the water differently, including playing in the water if that’s enabled.”
Simpson says the idea is to celebrate the river historically and culturally, and is part of Council’s plan to shift Quesnel from being a drive through community to becoming more of a destination community.
He says some of these ideas are subject to the interconnector going through…
“Part of the lens we put on this is that there are some of these that we would do whether we get the interconnector or not, and there are some of these things we would only do if that highway traffic was no longer on Front Street and Carson. At the end of the day any amount of this kind of development on the river is transformative, and certainly one key area is when we move public works off of both sides of Johnston Bridge. We will then have a developable property there that gives us some plans and some thoughts around in conjunction with the Lhtako Dene Cultural Centre at Ceal Tingley Park and the confluence of the Quesnel and Fraser.”
As for how to pay for some of these things, Mayor Bob Simpson says they were able to get grants to develop the strategy and he feels they can continue to be successful on that front…
“We will continue to work to develop the overarching strategy into discreet feasibility studies and design. We’re going to get to a certain stage on that in this phase but we’re going to have to dig deeper at some point. We’ve been successful in getting grants, we don’t believe we’re going to have problems in getting grants to get these to the stage that they become what we call shovel ready projects. For the most part we would not embark on any of these projects with 100 percent property taxation, it is just not feasible for us to do that. We would be looking to do this through grant programs and there are lots of grant programs out there.”
Simpson says some of these things are going to take time but he would like to get to some sooner rather than later.
He would like to have something ready for 2020 or 2021 to show what this overall development could look like.
Follow-up consultations are planned for Wednesday. (June 5th)
They will take place at the Riverfront Trail on Bowron Avenue between 8 and 9-30 am, at the playground at West Fraser Timber Park from 10 until 11-30, on the Riverfront Trail near the the Footbridge from noon until 1-30, at Baker Creek Park from 2-30 until 4 and then at Ceal Tingley Park between 4-30 and 6-30 pm.
A survey is also available on the city’s website.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 5, 2019
8 am – 9:30 am – Riverfront Trail at Bowron Avenue
10 am – 11:30 am – West Fraser Timber Park – Playground
12 pm – 1:30 pm – Riverfront Trail – Shelter near Footbridge
2:30 pm – 4 pm – Baker Creek Park
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Ceal Tingley Park