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HomeRegional NewsNewsContractor offers to install free lights in Castlegar dog park

Contractor offers to install free lights in Castlegar dog park

Although Castlegar city council opted to drop it from their budget this year, a local contractor is offering to install lights for the dog park at Millennium Park for free.

John Usipuik, the owner of Invision General Contracting, wrote to the city noting he frequently visits the dog park and that lack of lighting has been raised recently by users as a safety hazard.

Usipuik said he and Mitchell Supply have teamed up and are willing to install four solar streetlights on the corners of the main section of the park at no cost to the city. The city previously budgeted $95,000 for the project.

Usipuik said additional lighting would improve safety, deter crime, and allow for evening events.

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“You do not need stadium lights or excessively bright lights as that can be disruptive to
surrounding neighbors,” he wrote. “If the lights are directed appropriately, you can use less bright lights and still effectively illuminate the area without being disruptive.”

While neighbouring communities don’t have lit dog parks, Usipuik said Castlegar could set an example for others.

“We can achieve safety standards and convenience to the public without spending an excessive amount of tax money,” he said.

Usipuik said he has contacted the school district and students at the online learning centre would be interested in volunteering. He estimated construction would take two days.

City manager Chris Barlow said he contacted Usipuik to thank him for the offer and let him know operations staff will be in touch to figure out if what he’s proposing would work for the city.

“We have a high level of expectation around liability so we have to make sure that’s going to meet those requirements,” Barlow said. “If we can clear that hurdle, we’ll bring it back to council for consideration.”

Councillor Cherryl MacLeod, who previously expressed opposition to adding lights, asked if neighbors would be consulted.

Mayor Maria McFaddin said they would, but only after the city has figured out if the offer is viable.

“I really do appreciate them offering this,” she said. “The first step is to talk to them and if it meets our standards, then decide if we’re interested. Absolutely before any decision is made we’ll make sure we’ve had a robust discussion.”

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