There will be more of the district to explore soon.
During its May 10 meeting, the District of Kent council unanimously approved phase one of improving dike sections throughout the district, opening them for public use.
This first phase will include McDonald Road to Cuthbert Road and Cuthbert to Scott Road, Hammersley Pump Station, Hamilton Road to Limbert Road and School Road to Kilby Road.
District staff received several notes of support from locals, the result of a letter-writing campaign credited to Agassiz resident Laurens van Vliet. The ultimate goal for the project would be to create a formal trail system along the dikes for walkers and cyclists. Advocates for the trails said this would allow more outdoor recreation and exercise opportunities and a chance to reconnect with the natural beauty around the district.
The district maintains 19 kilometres of dikes. While they are used primarily for flood protection, they are accessible for non-motorized public use.
Nearby property owners expressed concerns about those using the dikes walking onto their property. To address this, the district will post regulation notices at each dike entrance as well as additional private property notices and educational signs specifically noting the adverse effects of dog feces on farmland.
In addition to the signage, the district plans to build waste receptacles and dog bag stations.
The estimated cost for the initial four sections to be improved is about $60,000, including regular maintenance throughout the year.
In other council business, Mayor Sylvia Pranger thanked district residents for remaining faithful in practicing COVID protocols and continued to encourage those eligible to get vaccinated when the opportunity comes.
Council unanimously awarded Evolution AV with a $22,000 fee for audio-visual upgrades to the Council Chambers; this cost is eligible for COVID-19 Safe Restart Grants for Local Governments.
District Council has held in-person, distanced meetings for several months, and the public, while unable to attend in-person, can register to attend online via Microsoft Teams for every public hearing and regular council meeting. The public may submit questions to council via online chat.
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 26 at 7 p.m. For agendas and info on how to register, visit kentbc.ca.