News

Katzie close Wharf Street in Maple Ridge

A wall blocks the east entrance to the Katzie First Nations reserve along Wharf Street to stop garbage dumping. - Colleen Flanagan/The News
A wall blocks the east entrance to the Katzie First Nations reserve along Wharf Street to stop garbage dumping.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

The Katzie First Nation has  sealed off an unpaved road between Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to prevent people from dumping garbage and speeding through the reserve.

Concrete blocks were put up at the end of Wharf Street in Hammond two weeks ago, blocking access into the reserve.

There have been parties, speeding vehicles and fires on the property, said band member Coleen Pierre.

“It’s uncontrollable and out of our hands.”

Someone dumped a large pile of garbage near the wall soon after it went up.

“There continue to be major issues with people using our reserve as a dumping ground and this can no longer be tolerated,” said Katzie First Nation chief Susan Miller.

“We did go through the garbage and found bills and mail addressed to Maple Ridge residents.”

People are also using the secluded site near the Golden Ears Bridge to burn toxic material. Last summer, a man sparked brush fire while trying to siphon gas from a car.

Previously used as a landfill, the property is a popular dumping ground for everything from stolen vehicles to furniture and building material.

The dirt road is also used as a short cut between the two municipalities. The Katzie temporarily closed the road in 2009.

“Katzie leadership are working with the community to stop this,” Miller said, adding the concrete barrier will remain in place permanently.

Pitt Meadows fire chief Don Jolley said the closure will not affect emergency response to the Katzie First Nation as the fire department uses main roads to access the reserve.

The District of Maple Ridge was not told about the closure but intends to install a sign to warn motorists before they drive into a concrete wall.

Hammond residents would like the closure addressed by the district which is currently working on an area plan to guide development in the historic neighbourhood.

On the Facebook group Hammond Neighbours, residents wondered how they would leave the area if a train was stuck on the tracks.

“The garbage dumping on the Katzie land has been atrocious to say the least, and I don’t blame them for blocking it off,” wrote Charlotte Mitchell.

“Nevertheless, there is no other egress in the event of a train disaster or stall along Lorne and Ditton … maybe this needs to be addressed within the area plan.”

Maple Ridge director of engineering operations Russ Carmichael said a typical large single location cleanup costs between $300 to $500 when a back hoe and truck are required.  The costs include picking up garbage, hauling and tipping fees.

A small cleanup that fits in a pickup truck costs around $100.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Transit contract avoids mid-referendum labour spat
 
BCTF strike action starts Wednesday
 
Maple Ridge eco development manager seeks Abbotsford seat
Tour de Valley rolls into Langley
 
Motorcyclists making Christmas merrier for Prince Rupert families
 
Historic Surrey election looms
Views split on bigger medical role for firefighters
 
BC Parkway improvements mean smoother riding, walking
 
Plans for Larco land get go ahead

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 1 edition online now. Browse the archives.