View Royal is considering installing a video camera on Four Mile hill to keep an eye on its new rock mural.
The $150,000 piece of public art was finished in September and has already been hit with a graffiti tag. Skateboarders also use the top of the retaining wall as a ledge to ride on.
In a report to town council, engineering director Emmet McCusker said a traffic camera could be installed at the intersection of View Royal Avenue and Island Highway, facing eastward towards the mural.
The video could stream live at a low resolution on the town website and could also be watched at a higher resolution on computers inside town hall.
“It’s presence would serve as a deterrent to vandalism, if we put up a sign warning people they’re on camera,” McCusker told council.
“It wouldn’t be a security camera, per se. The video feed isn’t recorded or stored anywhere. We couldn’t use it in court, but it’s still a way to keep an eye on the area.”
Langford has similar cameras pointing at the Goldstream Avenue water fountain and construction at City Centre Park, both of which stream on its website.
The camera and installation would cost the town $11,500, which could come from casino revenue, and annual maintenance contract would be $430.
“We made a huge public investment in that wall,” Mayor Graham Hill said. “It’s our responsibility to protect it.”
Coun. John Rogers said the camera would also be useful for commuters who want to see the road conditions and traffic levels on Island Highway to decide if they want to take that route.
“Four Mile hill gets slippery in the winter and it would be good to be able to check if there’s snow on it,” Rogers said. “I check the cameras on the Malahat before I drive on it, and I would do the same for Island Highway.”
The purchase of a camera will be considered in the Town’s 2012 capital budget. While several councillors would have liked to see the camera installed sooner, there isn’t enough time left in the current council year to approve the expense.