Cariboo Regional District encourages Maple Drive residents to attend March 3 meeting about streetlights

Options for providing lights to improve safety include establishing a new taxation service

Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Electoral Area A Director Mary Sjostrom has been advocating for more streetlights on Maple Drive. The CRD is holding a public meeting Tuesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. to present its findings and a proposal to the community. (Photo submitted)

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) will present options for installing streetlights along the Maple Drive corridor, including the possibility of establishing a new taxation service, at a public meeting at the beginning of March.

The CRD invites residents and interested stakeholders to a public meeting Tuesday, March 3. At the meeting, the CRD will present its findings and proposal for installing streetlights on Maple Drive, which runs off Highway 97 south of Quesnel to Plywood Hill Road in CRD Electoral Area A.

“Installing streetlights on Maple Drive has been a high-priority issue for the community over the last year, and the CRD has been in discussions with all the involved partners to find a solution,” CRD Area A Director Mary Sjostrom said in a press release. “Now we want to report back to the community about the options we’re considering and hear their feedback.”

Due to safety concerns about the lack of sidewalks and lighting on this busy road, which includes two schools and has been used as a detour for industrial traffic heading to and from the plywood plant since October 2018, there has been a call for streetlights along Maple Drive to enhance the safety for pedestrians and the travelling public, and in May 2019, the CRD board approved up to $7,500 for a feasibility study for streetlights in this area.

In January, the CRD board endorsed a motion that the installation of streetlights to enhance safety along the Maple Drive corridor should be the responsibility of the Province through the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. If the Province does not take responsibility, the CRD will approach stakeholders in the area to seek contributions to the capital cost of installing streetlights and approach affected property owners to seek their assent to establish a new service for the provision of streetlights.

“While the position of the CRD board is that streetlights along this corridor are the responsibility of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, we have not been successful in those discussions to date,” said CRD chief administrative officer John MacLean. “As a result, we are looking into alternative options, which we will present at the upcoming meeting.The most viable option seems to be establishing a new service for CRD residents along Maple Drive where taxes would cover the ongoing operating costs. To cover the initial capital costs to install the street lights, we hope to find funding through grants or stakeholder contributions.”

Anyone interested in the issue is welcome to attend the meeting, and the CRD is particularly encouraging residents living along the Maple Drive corridor to attend, as they will be directly impacted if the Regional District establishes a new taxation service. Before any new service is established, a form of public assent is required, such as a referendum, petition or alternative approval process.

The meeting will take place Tuesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. at the Lhtako Dené Community Hall at 1943 Lust Rd.

READ MORE: Cariboo Regional District will revisit Maple Drive streetlights with MOTI

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