Castlegar city council has heard another call for extra illumination at Millennium Park, this time from local runners.
Zachary Robert, the manager of the Châteaugar Running Club, presented a petition with about 186 names to council this week.
He explained that each week they do a run though the paved loop in the park, but about one-quarter of it is not lit.
“We have to run with headlamps in a good part of it,” he said. “That creates multiple issues.”
One of those issues is encountering people walking their dogs in the dark.
“As we go around we often encounter people with dogs on or off leash, and startle them and scare the dogs, often, on unlit sections.”
Robert said sometimes runners use the path before it’s plowed and can run into obstacles like snow and dog poop that are obvious and avoidable, but only where it’s lit.
“But that section by the dog beach, dog park, and bike park that is not lit is problematic for us.”
Robert said he has also spoke to dog park users who would like additional lighting. Council recently opted to drop the proposed $95,000 expenditure to light that area from its budget.
Robert asked why the paved loop was not lit from the outset and was told that it was a secondary part of the project and lights were not included.
He also asked whether funding intended for the new castle play structure could be redirected to lighting. Staff said that the playground is mostly funded through grants, but a portion will come from the city’s capital budget that could be used for lights or other improvements if council so wished.
Councillor Cherryl MacLeod, who objected to funding the lights for the dog walk, said council could reconsider a larger lighting project.
“We’ve now heard the concerns and it’s something we can consider, but it’s not going to happen this year. If that’s the will of the people we’ll certainly talk about that again in future budget conversations.”