New streetlights will be going up on Maple Drive in the Red Bluff area south of Quesnel.
The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) completed the alternative approval process (AAP) for the proposed installation of streetlights along Maple Drive Nov. 16, and the CRD board adopted a service bylaw for the streetlights at its Dec. 4 meeting.
Now, the regional district will work with B.C. Hydro to have 23 streetlights installed on existing B.C. Hydro poles along Maple Drive from the junction with Highway 97 to the corner of Plywood Road.
CRD Area A director Mary Sjostrom was successful in obtaining a $12,000 grant from ICBC toward the streetlighting project. The initial cost of installation will be offset by the grant, and the CRD will fund the service through a residential tax to surrounding properties, which works out to $7.31 per $100,000 of assessed property value per year.
“I am delighted to see this project move forward,” Sjostrom said in a news release.
“Our research and survey work before the AAP began showed strong local support for streetlights on Maple Drive. It’s great to see our decision to utilize the alternative approval process validated by this result. It has saved the CRD and its taxpayers the considerable expense of taking this long-awaited project to referendum.”
An AAP is a ‘reverse’ form of public assent, where a proposed initiative goes ahead unless at least 10 per cent of the eligible voters submit a signed elector response form saying they are against the proposal.
The CRD launched the AAP for the streetlights in October, with 1,112 residents or property owners eligible to respond. Six elector response forms in opposition to the streetlight project were received.
The Maple Drive streetlighting project came about after the CRD was asked, via resident requests to Sjostrom, to look at ways to improve safety along this corridor.
It is anticipated the project will increase the safety of pedestrians on Maple Drive, which has seen increased industrial traffic since the Johnston Bridge was closed to heavy trucks in October 2018. Safety issues were also highlighted after a pedestrian died in a collision on the road in January 2019.
Quesnel Junior School, École Red Bluff Lhtako Elementary and a local daycare all reside along Maple Drive, along with a number of residential properties.