Corporation of the District of Kitimat Infrastructure Needs & Challenges
"The crash of falling trees, the rumble and clatter of earthmoving monsters, the subdued rhythm of power saws and the din of a thousand hammers was the music of the town from early 1954..." Kitimat - Kemano: Five Years of Operation, 1954-1959, Alcan, p.38.
At the time of Prince Philip's visit on August 3, 1954, sixty-eight families were in permanent homes in Nechako - courtesy of Alcan’s home building program.
With the birth of a town, infrastructure had to be set up. By-laws were passed, a contract with the RCMP was signed, the School Board was elected, and a bridge over the Kitimat River was constructed. Infrastructure services included a hospital, schools, fire department, police, and town protection against invasion or disaster. Efficient overland transportation was also needed. The rail line was operating by the time of the Last Spike celebration, July 8, 1955, and the Terrace-Kitimat highway opened in 1957.
Telephone, curbs and gutters on roads, paving, bridges, culverts, heat, light, water, snow clearing, a cemetery, sanitary and storm sewers, a waste disposal system, and sidewalks along streets were all needed. At the time the Public Safety Building opened in 1956, it housed the District of Kitimat fire hall, police station, and municipal offices.