If frustration could brighten Christmas lights, then the 124 street Business Association would have no problem. However executive director Terry Synyshyn told council’s executive committee this week they’ve been asking the city to get power to the trees in the area since 2013, and still haven’t gotten a satisfactory answer.
“I know it’s just tree lights and there are much larger issues that demand your attention but it is frustrating for the board that we were not informed of this until three weeks before our All is Bright Festival coming Nov. 19.”
It’s been year after year of disappointment. “We had documented commitments from the city that this was going to be resolved in 2013, ’14 and ’15 and now 2016. After another inquiry in September this year we were just notified on Friday that the city would only be repairing about half of the electrical outlets this year, leaving six blocks not completely repaired.”
“Two parts were supposed to be done before our All is Bright Festival last year,” Synyshyn told the councillors. “This goes back to 2011. I had committments for 2013, I had commitments for 2014. And we had another meeting for 2015. Because we’re a destination area now, we had funding for this. We put this as one of our priority areas that the funding should be in place. I think we had this as our third priority to have this done this year and it’s still not done.”
“Something went awry there,” said Coun Scott McKeen. “That’s frustrating for an area that’s been dealing with bridge delays and other issues and I just think our service to citizens and businesses, espeically in areas that are challenged like that, we have to hit a higher bar.”
After a quick huddle, Deputy City Manager Gary Klassen said, “the imperative of getting some of that work done to allow for a succesful seasonal event is going to be further examined. That was the committment to the committee.”
Later Gord Cebryk, the branch manager for Transportation Operations told reporters, “the target is to try to get it operational for the festival that they’re going to be having, and that’s the goal.”
Problems over the years included changes in technology. All is Bright is Nov. 19.