City: quarter-million-dollar air monitoring site for Castlegar; summer paving projects done except in Blueberry

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
August 4th, 2010

 City workers today demolished an old washroom building at Zinio Tennis Court, making way for a new environmental monitoring trailer.

“The washroom was condemned several years ago and, as of today, it is no more,” said Chris Barlow, city director of transportation and civic works.
City CAO John Malcolm said the city has cause to be flushed with pride at our switch from bathroom to environmental monitoring equipment.

“The Ministry of Environment (MoE) is installing … air and weather monitoring equipment (including a 30-foot tower), the shelter (for the equipment), the data management equipment and the supporting equipment, which is valued at approximately $250,000,” he said, adding current monitoring has been under way since 1990. “The new monitoring equipment is (being installed) in response to a 2007 recommendation from a Castlegar airshed advisory committee for improved equipment.
“The MoE identified Castlegar as a “core” monitoring site representing the whole West Kootenay region, so rather than measure only particulate matter (which had been the case up until now), MoE will now monitor a number of air quality indicators. These measurements will help determine the air quality health index for Castlegar and surrounding communities.
“This capability is not currently available east of Kelowna so, once more, Castlegar is leading the way for the West Kootenay region.”
He added the monitoring site will be relatively small and won’t generate noise, so residents need not be concerned that their lifestyles will be interrupted or altered by the new equipment.
In related news, Castlegar residents can now rest easy knowing the lion’s share of the city’s summer paving program is complete, according to Barlow.
He said projects on 10th Street, Pinewood Drive and the 700 and 800 blocks of 8th Street are now complete, not to mention work to patch a water main leak on Columbia Avenue in front of Canadian Tire … the only remaining paving work in the city is slated begin Aug. 9 in Blueberry.
“Due to a poor road base, 100th Street in Blueberry will need to be excavated and replaced with properly-engineered backfill,” Barlow said. “This will ensure the greatest long-term return on taxpayer investment for the asphalt itself. It’s all about building the proper foundation for the city’s future – both in terms of infrastructure and expenditures.”
He said he appreciates the patience and understanding of residents, as traffic ties and slow-downs often result from such work, and he hopes locals reap the rewards of their patience for years to come, as they navigate upgraded city thoroughfares.

For more information on these or other civic works projects, call 250-365-5979.

Categories: General


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