Monday May 16, 2011

The Municipal Rub 

A More Sustainable Chilliwack

City wants environmental study, Parks Dept shows bang for the buck in first quarter 



he CFD presented council their First Quarter Report for January, February and March. The Assistant Chief said there were a total of 512 calls including 55 fires (23 buildings and 8 vehicle blazes) resulting in $1.6-million in losses. There were 6 people who suffered injuries as a result of those fires.


The CFD conducted 307 inspections and provided education and emergency preparedness training to over 1850 people.

In their report the CFD says that fire alarms constituted 32% of their calls out; 26% of those were service calls to assist agencies, CO2 alarms and fire investigations. A total of 9% were calls to burning complaints like fires at the river etc.

The fire department bought two ESS trailers which was made possible from a Farm Credit Canada grant. According to their report, the trailers will be used to lodge people displaced by disaster or other types of emergencies. A JEEP grant from the federal government paid for emergency lighting at Heritage Park in the case where the trailers are used.


Parks Department Quarterly Report

Overall revenues from City of Chilliwack Parks Department facilities was $309,395.00 which is up from $292,560.00 in 2010. Numbers were up across the board with the exception of Prospera Centre, Townsend Park and sports fields revenues which were all down slightly from 2010 figures.

  1. Evergreen Hall - $17,977.00

  2. Landing Sports Centre $31,514.00

  3. Twin Rinks - $172,892.00

  4. Prospera Centre - $75,138.00

  5. Townsend Park - $10,401.00

  6. Sports Fields - $1,473.00

  7. Total - $309,395.00

Inside the parks report it was noted that facilities at Cheam Leisure Centre were busy with about 825 visitors per day.

The Steve Nash Youth Basketball league got it's beginnings and according to the report, brought in 120 people three times a week for an hour to learn how to play the game.

Swimming lessons were also a big part of what the Leisure Centre does as well as Adventure Camps which took place over spring break that proved to be very popular.

The Water Park opened on April 15th and there was an open house on May 15th.

Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre

The Parks report stated that 955 people used the facility daily from January to March which bucked the usual trend that sees a drop in attendance in the coldest months.

There were fitness challenges; the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Ann Davis Transition Society that participants were asked to donate cash to and evening group fitness classes were at a capacity for most of the first quarter.

In addition to the Challenges, there were other events which generated increased traffic.

The Great Blue Heron Reserve

The Parks report indicated that over 40 volunteers worked 350-hours monthly in the first quarter of the year helping out in and around the interpretive centre which is open 7-days a week from 10 am to 4 pm.

According to the brief, the herons return in February and March.

The Reserve hosted several free guided walks including Family Day which saw 150 people flock to the site to participate in nature walks and crafts.

The Young Naturalist Club held held their spring session there and the Chilliwack Camera Club had a members display set up in the main building.

Schools are big on the reserve and the Reserve had 68 school programs book into the site.

Heritage Park

The ever popular All Star Cheerleaders held their regional competition at the park plus the Home and Leisure Show got the facility rolling in the new year. A dog show, bull riding and an RV show attracted untold thousands from all points in Canada. Additionally, a generator shed was added in case of power outages when the facility is in use.

The Museum Archives was built and is basically complete.

Watson Glenn Park

An Arbour was added to beautify the entrance to the park. The project was funded by the Mt Cheam Rotary Club of Chilliwack.


Yarrow Central Park

Yarrow Central Community Park 2009 Voice file photo.




It was announced in the city council agenda recently that the park will be getting a skate park for boarders to do their thing. The City asked three companies to submit design proposals. It's unclear which one they want to go with.

Some of the elements that will be added to the park are;

  1. Paved pathways with signs embedded into the pavement with painted traffic lines, crosswalks and parking will enable kids to learn about street safety.

  2. Rocks to climb on for balance development.

  3. Large logs as natural play elements.

  4. A slide to follow the lay of the land.

  5. A tunnel.

  6. Artificial rock climbing element.

  7. Water play-pump.

  8. Climbing apparatus.

  9. Spinner bowls.

  10. Bucket swings.

  11. Boulder wall climb.

  12. 4 large swings.

  13. Garden beds with different grasses.

  14. Finger tables for mini toy cars.

  15. Paths over tunnels with hand rails.

  16. Dinosaur activity climbing apparatuses.

The Skate Park Element

The total City Budget for the Yarrow Central Community Park upgrades is $300,000 and Chilliwack Parks & Rec has set aside $150,000 for the skate park section.

They had two bids on the project; $147,500 from EHR Mechanical Ltd. and $150,000 from Newline Skate Parks and council awarded the design-build project to EHR.

Mount Thom Park Trail Improvement

A project to improve the trail from a narrow dirt path to a wider gravelled walk to the Lookout Loop Trail which travels around the northern edge has been underway for a couple of years now. The project includes a decaying wooden bridge with more improvements to the trails on the Ryder Lake side of the park are planned for later this year.


Vedder River South Trail

Work has started on the eastern end to add a new south river trail and connect to the Vedder River Campground at the bridge.

The eastern segment of the planned route will follow an elevated bench and an old road bed connecting with Vedder Mountain Rd near the City's quarry.

Chilliwack Library

The library was recognized by Community Services with the "Most Inclusive Environment" award at the FV Cultural Awards ceremony in March. Jacquelynne Garden was made the new chief librarian for the Upper Fraser Valley. She has been with FVRL for 10-years working as a paige at the library in Langley, a Circulation Assistant in Murrayville and as librarian in Walnut Grove.

Her mandate is to bring outreach programs to the communities of Chilliwack, Yarrow, Hope, Agassiz, Boston Bar and Yale.

In March, the Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries together had almost 90,000 books and magazines in circulation with over 35,000 users.

Yarrow Library

Children's author, Marty Chan was at the library to share his experiences and promote his book "The Mystery of Mad Science which was featured in the Reading Link Challenge.

The kids always love Chan who mixes funny stories with interactive activities that helpd the kids learn to write with detail. Yarrow library was part of the region's seven book talks which had 380 middle and high school students take part.

See The Voice's coverage here.

In Council

The City has commissioned an Energy Integratiopn Planning study of how to make the Landing Leisure Centre a greener building. They're looking for ways to heat it more efficiently and economically. Greenhouse gas emissions will also be evaluated in the report.

Council approved a motion to finalize and send the application for funding that would see $22,500 available under the Capacity Building and Integrated Community Sustainability Projects Funding Program. Part of the deal for funding means that the City has to put out $5000 for a total of $27,500.

Cris Crossman, GM Operations, wrote in his report that there is room for funding the study.

The City Engineering Department is looking at integrating the energy systems on most of the facilities in the area, such as the Prospera Centre, Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre, Cultural Centre,

Chilliwack General Hospital, Evergreen Hall, Landing Sports Centre and possibly schools (Bernard Elementary) as well as residential developments.

It's possible that alternative heat sources may come from the area like the Sanitary Pump Station #1 and the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Bidding For A Clean Sweep

The City recieved 18-bidders but only four made it to the final stage for a one-year janitorial contract ranging from $140,821.00/yr. to $150,280.00. Based on their evaluation of the contract submissions, staff advised council to select Nutech's $148,247.00 bid.

The Fire Department wants to cut down on the number of false alarms that private security firms send them out on. In order to do this, the CFD has instituted a system whereby the security firm or the owner is charged a fee. It's unclear at this time what the fee will be.

The Events Committee

The following are events that have been reviewed and are either approved or pending submittal of a security plan for the event.



The City took bids for a 3-year internet services contract and in it they were looking for speeds of 25Mbps. The service contract was awarded to Telus who came in with the lowest bid for the highest bandwidth at $89,200.

Telus can only provide connection speeds at 30Mbps so that was reflected in their application.

Currently, Bell provides the connectivity for the City who pays $1,275/mo. for it. Shaw was also bidder on the contract. The contract renewal is set for 2014.

Under Shaw's plan the City pays $2,700 minimum per month for 25Mbps connectivity. Under the new contract with Telus, the bill will be $2,450/mo. which just barely comes in under Shaw's bid. However Telus apparently can deliver faster speeds for their quote.

Wage Agreement Signed

The Animal Control staff renewed their labour contract with the City for $168,000. The staff run the shelter and enforce the Animal Control Act within the city boundaries. The same firm has been providing services to the City since 1978.

Staff recommended that council sign-off on this agreement.

Copyright (c) 2011 The Valley Voice