Grate prank in Courtenay not great idea

What was a late-night prank for some, can be a costly and dangerous act to taxpayers, drivers and cyclists, warn city officials and RCMP.

KEIR GERVAIS

What was a late-night prank for some, can be a costly and dangerous act to taxpayers, drivers and cyclists, warn city officials and RCMP.

The prank came in the middle of the night, and isn’t the first time it has happened in Courtenay — the removal of metal catch basin grates on Fifth Street that were placed in the middle of the roadway in the middle of the night.

“These grates are made of cast-iron and they don’t reflect light, so people wouldn’t be able to see them, and weigh between 60 and 80 pounds,” explained Const. Don Sinclair of the latest incident, which took place March 19 at 1:49 a.m.

“If a car would have hit them, they would be in serious damage.”

Sinclair said there were three or four grates moved and left on the travel portion of the road.

He added moving the grates were done for nothing more than to cause damage to pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists.

“If a car would have hit this metal grate, it probably would have caused serious damage underneath their vehicle. If someone would have stepped off the sidewalk and fell into the hole they could have broken bones or hurt themselves pretty seriously,” he noted, and said if found, the culprits could face fine or a charge of mischief.

Keir Gervais, manager of public works for the City of Courtenay, said this type of incident happens a couple of times a month when the weather gets warmer, and there is a possibility of someone falling in.

“All the stars would have to align themselves (for someone stumbling in) but most certainly. Or somebody parking a car or somebody riding a bicycle down the road. There’s a void left there in the road service,” he noted.

Gervais said normally, the city’s on-call public works employee would get a page through their answering service during off-hours, and would return the catch basin lid to its proper place. In this particular incident, an RCMP member replaced the lid.

“It’s like all pranks — for the person doing it they don’t see the string of consequences that follow or costly or in the case of human injury or in the case of property damage of any sort,” he explained. “There is significant impact for operations and our city budget and that unfortunately can spills back to taxpayers.

“And it’s something we take seriously but unfortunately it happens in the night and we’re not usually around to see.”

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Four-hour ferry delay on Buckley Bay-Denman Island route

BC Ferries reported the cable ferry is experiencing issues with the head shieve.

Air quality statement in effect for Comox Valley

Smokey skies could mean a high risk on the air quality health index

Additional funds allocated to over-budget Cumberland fire hall design

Council approved the addition of $125,000 for pre-construction work

Local musicians inducted into Comox Valley Walk of Achievement

Seven local musicians have earned their spot among some of the Comox… Continue reading

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Comox resident part of famed basketball team

Kay MacRitchie MacBeth played guard for Edmonton Grads

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Most Read