The extraordinarily high tide and strong winds that hit the city Monday damaged several areas of the Stanley Park seawall and caused flooding at Jericho Beach and Kits Beach Pool.
The park board temporarily closed several sections of the seawall in Stanley Park. According to the park board there was significant damage to the seawall from Second Beach to Siwash Rock, including rock debris and logs on the pathway. As a result, the seawall remains closed between Second Beach and Lions Gate Bridge until further notice. Gates have been closed at points along the seawall to ensure public safety and further assessment of damage will take place once sea water levels have receded.
The Jericho Pier was damaged and will remain closed until further notice. Meanwhile, Kitsilano Pool was breached by waves but because it’s designed for salt water does not appear to have suffered significant damage. City and park board staff members are working to make these areas safe and will reopen them as soon as possible.
While we’re on the subject of weather, the city’s minor snowfall Tuesday is a reminder there are protocols in place when it comes to shovelling sidewalks. According to a city bylaw, snow and ice must be cleared by 10 a.m. on the morning following a snowfall, seven days a week. If you are away or are unable to clear your sidewalk yourself, please make arrangements for someone to clear it for you.
The city asks residents to avoid shovelling snow onto sidewalks or the roadway, as it can be hazardous to pedestrians and vehicles. And once the storm is over and the snow begins to melt, the city asks that residents clear the catch basin in the gutter fronting their property. This will help the melted snow run off into the storm sewer system and reduce flooding.
Anyone not physically capable of shovelling their sidewalk can contact the city’s Snow Angel program by dialling 311 to see if they qualify for assistance. Staff at the 311 centre will then contact the closest Snow Angel volunteers to see if someone can help. On the other hand, able-bodied volunteers willing to grab a shovel can also register for the program by calling 311.
The park board unanimously passed its 2013 operating budget of $57.6 million Dec. 13. The lone exception on the vote was NPA commissioner Melissa De Genova who was away.
Vision Vancouver commissioner Aaron Jasper said he and his fellow commissioners, as well as park board staff, were delighted when at the same time city council unexpectedly offered an extra $3 million towards the board’s capital budget.
Jasper said the money is earmarked to build washrooms at city sports fields. Initially the park board had targeted only $400,000 towards washroom maintenance for 2013 so the extra cash will come in handy, Jasper added. It costs about $400,000 to build one standard washroom in a park.
Jasper notes Mayor Gregor Robertson praised the park board for the work it did in 2012 providing services in parks and facilities during challenging economic times.