Connors Road and radon request top council agenda

The Connors Road bike path and rail crossing was the hot topic at Monday night’s council meeting.

Chris Stedile

 

Castlegar News

 

The Connors Road bike path and rail crossing was the hot topic at Monday night’s council meeting. Perhaps most affected by the multi-use pathway, resident John Shirley, was on hand to deliver a presentation long in the making. “This project was not a success,” he said, “we the residents, would request; no. Whole-heartedly encourage you to correct or repair your mistakes in regards to this project.” Shirley claims that not all residents of Connors Road were consulted and there has been concerns and opposition towards it since late summer of 2012. He firmly believes that once the city knew of these issues, meaningful conversation between city and residents should have been the next logical step. Instead of conversing, Shirley said the city remained silent and ignored those in protest to the crossing. The project was completed last fall and since then, residents claim they have lost property value, green space and noise has increased significantly. During question period, Shirley had several residents back his case. One resident believes the path is unnecessary, as most bikers find their own way across rail tracks through the use of old trails and paths. Another said the bike path is not only dangerous for cyclists but motorists as well. Shirley’s solution to the problem is clear. Remove and reforest the crossing. Mayor Lawrence Chernoff doesn’t see the matter as being that simple. “There was a process; we followed that process and moved accordingly,” he said. “It’s not like we brought it out of the blue.” Mayor Chernoff said council is continuing to follow that process by listening to those, like Mr. Shirley, who oppose the crossing. “Staff will look at this and we’ll hopefully come to a resolution.” In terms of removing and reforesting the crossing, the mayor doesn’t see that as an appropriate solution. “You can’t decommission and pull out crossings and do those kinds of things at this stage. You look at the tax payers that pay for it and the usage is there.” Mayor Chernoff said it’s just a matter of working things out and despite this group at council, the city has received a significant amount of positive feedback from the community. In other matters, council has agreed to consult the B.C. government to ask for funding that would assist in installing radon removal systems. The system acts similar to a fan and serves to vent radon out of the house. RadonAware quotes the cost of installation as being anywhere from $500 to $3000. This funding request stems from a recently released study that claimed over half of tested homes in Castlegar were above the radon threshold.