Orange fencing surrounds the Pioneer Park Playground on March 24. The District of Kent has temproarily closed all recreational facilities until further notice. (Adam Louis/Observer)

‘We’re turning on a sprinkler, not a fire hose’

District of Kent mayor stresses need for patience as pandemic-related openings commence

District of Kent officials, like many other community leaders across the province, urge patience as B.C. begins the reopening process.

During their council meeting on Monday, May 11, Mayor Sylvia Pranger and Coun. Susan Spaeti updated council on the effects of COVID-19 on the district. Pranger and Spaeti regularly meet with community leaders on a virtual platform concerning the ongoing pandemic.

“The message is the same,” district officials wrote. “Currently, we are at 30 per cent of what we know as ‘normal.’ We are slowly moving toward 60 per cent. As we expand the opening of more services, we must be patient.”

“We are turning on a sprinkler, not a fire hose,” said Pranger.

In other council business, the council received a report from Stantec Consulting concerning the district’s average pavement quality index, or PQI. District officials indicated the scores to be 62 out of 100, which is considered good.

RELATED: District of Kent to webcast next council meeting

Stantec provided the district with a 10-year maintenance plan in addition to their PQI assessment; the 10-year plan would begin effective 2022 to 2031. The plan listed priority projects and offered recommendations as how to proceed. The district currently spends an average of $443,000 per year on roadwork.

The district continues to work with neighbouring communities to monitor the impact of this year’s freshet, or the rush of fresh water due to thawing ice and snow flowing into area rivers. The snowpack for the Upper Fraser East remains extremely high at 143 per cent of normal whereas Upper Fraser West is closer to 109 per cent.

RELATED: CELEBRATING 125: District of Kent Council revisits 1895

As declared by Mayor Pranger, Local Government Awareness Week begins on May 19 to the 25th in an effort “to generate awareness and further educate the public regarding the important roles and responsibilities of local government.” Residents can participate in virtual events such as tours of district facilities, a hanging basket workshop led by the district gardener, trivia and geocaching adventures.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for May 25.

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