Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services
Yellowknife (Jun 13/01) - Lanky Court residents are tired of looking at the unsightly holes dredged up in their parking lot.
They are crossing their fingers that none of their children will end up injured while playing in them.
Early last summer the federal Department of Public Works began excavating the holes in front of the Crown-owned duplexes with the intention of erecting a set of light standards.
While neighbourhood residents were pleased the department was installing the lights, they are beginning to wonder when the year-old project will be complete.
"Last spring they said they were making some lovely landscaping, and we all thought that would be a great idea," said Lanky Court resident Donna Huffam.
"They dug these big holes for light standards and they've been there since last summer. We've had this mess all winter long."
The five holes dug into the parking lot pavement measure approximately eight feet across and four feet deep.
Several of the holes have two foot-long iron rods jutting out from them, and at least one is partially filled with water surrounded by loose rock.
When visited by Yellowknifer, several children were seen playing in and around them.
"Words cannot describe this outrage," said another Lanky Court resident, Marrina Sabalana.
Unsafe for children
"It's not safe for our children."
According to Tom Corrigan, communications officer for the federal Department of Public Works in Edmonton, they were unable to complete work on the parking lot last year because of the short work season that comes with Yellowknife's long, cold winters.
He said the department expects to complete work by the end of the month.
"It was unfortunate that they could not complete the work by last fall," Corrigan said.
"It wasn't possible to continue with work because of the freezing conditions."
As of last Sunday, some of the holes were loosely surrounded by wooden barriers and sawhorses, while barriers had fallen down or were missing altogether around other holes.
Corrigan was contacted by Yellowknifer Monday morning. When another resident was reached for comment later that afternoon, it was learned that the department had come and fenced in the holes completely.
"Safety is a real concern for us," said Corrigan. "We're making sure that it's (the holes) secure."