Prince Rupert council votes to keep Wantage Road open

After taking gathering feedback from the public, Prince Rupert city council has decided not to put a gate on Wantage Road.

After taking 60 days to weigh their options and gather feedback from the public, Prince Rupert city council has decided not to put a gate on Wantage Road.

The idea first came up back in June following concerns from residents about the amount of garbage being dumped along the road. At the October 9 meeting, council was given a list of options to address the problem that ranged from a manned gate to enhanced enforcement to security cameras to additional signage to closing the road during the winter and fall.

“By and large the suggestions would be quite expensive to implement,” said Chief Financial Officer Dan Rodin.

“A popular one was using video cameras and while the cameras are not expensive, the 40 foot masts to mount them on – and we think six would be needed to cover the road – and the internet connectivity for the feed would be quite expensive…We can get a nice security camera for $1,500, but the question is where to put it. If it is at shoulder level it is open to vandalism, and if it is put on a mast that is quite expensive.”

Staff’s suggestion, and the one council ultimately decided on, was to post additional signage along the road to not only let people know that dumping was illegal but to provide a phone number people could call to report illegal dumping.

“I don’t think the signage will work, people know they’re not supposed to dump there. The important part is giving a phone number people can call to report someone dumping,” said councillor Joy Thorkelson.

“Until someone gets caught and fined, people are going to keep dumping because the ones that are doing it are lazy and cheap.”

And while the new signage has been approved, Rodin said this may not be the end of the discussion.

“If it is problematic in a year’s time, we could re-examine it and look at the option of closing the road if clean-up becomes too expensive,” he said.