Officials defend Kal park process

The Ministry of Transportation says public input is critical over the future of Cosens Bay Road. -
The Ministry of Transportation says public input is critical over the future of Cosens Bay Road.
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The Ministry of Transportation insists the public isn’t being ignored when it comes to controversial plans in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park.

The ministry has applied to B.C. Parks to change the boundary of the park to allow for a 30-metre-wide right-of-way so some safety improvements can be made to Cosens Bay Road.

“We’re not here to force this,” Erik Lachmuth, ministry area manager, told the Regional District of North Okanagan’s Electoral Area Advisory Committee Thursday.

An open house will be held later this month so public input can be received.

“Feedback from the open house will be collected,” said Lachmuth, adding that the details for the meeting have not been finalized yet.

Some residents have expressed concern about removing land from the park and have suggested the right-of-way will negatively impact the environment and possibly lead to more traffic in the park.

However, Lachmuth says the ministry’s goal is to improve safety on the road, which goes to the Cosens Bay cabin colony, which is outside of the park.

“The current plan is to widen the road in areas where it’s difficult for two vehicles to pass safely,” he said, adding that maintenance costs are also a problem because of the road condition.

“We wanted to get a ditch line, do some culvert work and improve the sight lines. Right now, we’re having drainage issues.”

In 2010, about 200 vehicles a day used the road and that has EAAC director Mike Macnabb questioning the ministry’s plan.

“Quite a bit of money is being spent and there are few people using it so you have to look at the cost/benefit analysis,” he said.

However, support for the ministry came from EAAC director Rick Fairbairn.

“There are safety issues there and I think they are on the right track,” he said.



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