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Cottonwood woes get little reprieve

By: Grant Burr

Posted: 07/21/2018 9:00 AM

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Residents near Steinbach Regional Secondary School did not get the result they hoped for on Tuesday night, though Steinbach city council did encourage more action to address problems occurring along a sidewalk connecting Cottonwood Drive to McKenzie Avenue.

"Over the last few years, our neighborhood has become increasingly unpleasant and unsafe due to students using this sidewalk as a hang out area," the petition read.

The petition included a list of activities that residents allege have been seen to occur along the sidewalk including drug use, bullying, fights, vandalism, and lewd behavior.

City manager Troy Warkentin advised council on Tuesday night that even if the sidewalk were removed, the pathway area would need to remain accessible because of storm sewer infrastructure installed below it.

The sidewalk has been in place since 1992.

Warkentin noted that similar concerns, raised in 2004, were addressed in collaboration with the Steinbach RCMP and SRSS.

On Tuesday, council agreed on three strategies to reduce problems along the sidewalk: encouraging residents to phone RCMP if criminal activity is observed, sending a letter to Hanover School Division asking it to be part of the solution, and asking the Citizens of Patrol Program, in coordination with the Steinbach RCMP, to assist in monitoring the area.

"It is amazing how just a few people can take so much of our time and cause so much grief," Mayor Chris Goertzen lamented.

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