Location of the potential new sidewalk connector in Port Hardy (blue markings). (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Port Hardy could be getting a brand-new sidewalk connector to help improve access around town

The project must be included in the communities Transportation Network Plan.

The District of Port Hardy could be getting a brand-new sidewalk connector to improve pedestrian access around town.

A staff report from Chief Financial Officer Lynda Sowerby was discussed at council’s Feb. 11 meeting, with some interesting facts listed about the sidewalk connector project.

Sowerby’s report noted staff were requesting approval for “a sidewalk construction project connecting Granville and Douglas Street at a cost not to exceed $145,000, to be 70 per cent funded by the BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant, to a maximum of $101,500 and 30 per cent funded by the Community Works Fund Reserve to a maximum of $43,500.”

She provided council with some background information on the infrastructure grant, stating, “Active transportation is human-powered forms of commuting to work, school, recreation, socializing or running errands. It can take many forms and is continually evolving as new technologies emerge. It includes walking, cycling, rolling (skateboarding, in-line skating), and other modes that are winter focused (cross—country skiing, snowshoeing) or water based (kayaking, stand-up paddleboard).”

The grant had only been recently announced and was not available when the district was developing the 2020-2024 Five Year Financial Plan.

In order to qualify for the BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant, the project must be included in the communities Transportation Network Plan.

Sowerby noted one of council’s 2019-2020 district strategic priorities is improved pedestrian access with a focus on safety, connectivity, and promotion of walking over vehicle use.

“If the District is successful in with this grant application, it is recommended that the proposed Granville and Douglas Street Sidewalk project at a cost of $145,000 replace the Market Street project of $35,000 that was approved in the 2020-2024 Five Year Financial Plan. The Districts contribution would be $43,500, therefore an additional $8,500 would need to be funded from the Community Works Fund Reserve.”

The intake for the 2020-2021 “BCActive Transportation Infrastructure Grant” is February 20, 2020 Indications are that this grant will be ongoing, and a 2021-2022 intake will be offered.

“If the grant funding is approved, the Districts 30% funding contribution would be $43,500 from the Community Works Fund Reserve,” wrote Sowerby.

“The Market Street project would be deferred to a future year, and the $35,000 Community Works Fund Reserve commitment would be transferred to the Granville and Douglas Sidewalk project plus an additional $8,500 commitment from the Community Works Fund Reserve would be required.”

Coun. John Tidbury made a motion for council to approve the sidewalk construction project connecting Granville amd Douglas Street at a cost “not to exceed $145,000, to be 70 per cent funded by the BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant, to a maximum of $101,500 and 30 per cent funded by the Community Works Fund Reserve to a maximum of $43,500.”

He also made a motion that if the BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant application of $101,500 is successful, “the Market Street sidewalk project will be cancelled and replaced by the Granville and Douglas Street project.”

Coun. Janet Dorward seconded the motion and then council voted to approve the project.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

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