(Contributed) Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall and Katzie Chief Grace Cunningham.

New access to Katzie lands in the works

Pitt Meadows and Katzie First Nation working toward new route

The City of Pitt Meadows and Katzie First Nation are working together on a new road to access the reserve.

The city and band are asking the Ministry of Transportation for a secondary access to come into the reserve from the northeast side.

The Aquilini Group owns property that would be traversed by the road, and are also involved in the discussions, said Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall, as is TransLink.

He said the goal is to build a main access road to be used by dump trucks that frequent the reserve.

Trucks currently enter the reserve via Airport Way and Bonson Road, and the wear and tear on city roads has created an added expense, which council referred to in its budget process.

There is eastern access to the reserve off Wharf Street, but that was blocked in 2014 to prevent illegal dumping on the reserve.

To open that route to truck traffic would take dump trucks through Maple Ridge’s Hammond neighbourhoods, which would not be appropriate said Dingwall.

The new road would benefit both local governments, and Dingwall said the Katzie and Pitt Meadows have an excellent relationship.

The mayor and Chief Grace Cunningham recently spoke for about 50 minutes in a joint presentation at the First Nations Housing and Infrastructure West Conference in Vancouver.

The presentation outlined four pillars that both communities use as touchstones: relationship building, formalized agreements, joint governance and collaboration and staff-to-staff collaboration.

Dingwall and Cunningham profiled three well-established agreements, including communication protocols and the provision of water, sewer and fire protection, in place since 2016.

There are also staff discussions about a dog control service.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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