Attention for Campbellton

Neglected part of Campbell River gets some action from city council

Campbellton residents and business owners who say their neighbourhood is being “neglected”,  have caught the city’s attention.

City staff will look at the feasibility of working with Campbellton property owners to clean-up and beautify the area, within a Neighbourhood Action Strategy. Staff will also report back to council with a timetable and a budget for the initiative.

The strategy was recommended at last Tuesday’s council meeting by coun. Ron Kerr, the liaison to Campbellton First – a lobby group for improvements to the northern part of town.

“This is an opportunity to support the community of Campbellton which has been overlooked for far too long,” Kerr said. “The businesses and residents of Campbellton started last year with investing in Campbellton, during the election campaign, to bring attention to the deficiencies in their neighbourhood. This initiative has resulted in increased community pride.”

Since Campbellton First formed last fall, the community has hosted a neighbourhood block party and conducted several community clean-ups.

The group collected membership fees ($10 for residents, $20 for businesses) but those have long since been spent on sprucing up the neighbourhood.

The community has bonded over a need to improve the community. Jim DeHart, a Campbellton business owner and one of the founders of Campbellton First, said there are very little curbs and sidewalks and there are signage, lighting and safety issues.

Ted Arbour, owner of Econo Ezy Box Storage, said Campbellton has been overlooked by the city in the past.

“Campbellton is so badly neglected by the city, i.e. potholes,” Arbour said last fall. “When compared to Willow Point – what an extreme difference.”

Brian Shaw, who re-located his Canaccord business to Campbellton last year, appeared before council last October to appeal for help from the city.

“Campbellton has a special character and it should be maintained and nurtured,” Shaw said. “It is the entranceway to Campbell River and we want to work with you as a committee, as an association.”

Shaw, on behalf of Campbellton First, also asked council for $40,000 to conduct a revitalization plan.

But Kerr’s recommendation last week didn’t specify a dollar amount.

“Economically I know this is not the time for projects but this would be a small investment that could lead to empowerment for the Campbellton community,” Kerr said. Kerr said the strategy would not involve a lot of money but rather a lot of community effort.