After freshet saw Coldstream Creek flood its banks, restoration and dredging received support from council.
Councillors voted in favour of staff’s recommendation to proceed with the detailed design and permitting of the restored creek bank at an estimated cost of $55,000 at a special District of Coldstream council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Michael Baker, director of infrastructure services, presented council with four options on how to best proceed with the creek’s restoration.
“We had Coldstream Creek burst its bank on the (constructed) Lavington wetland,” Baker said and added that sediment deposits have left the creek bed higher than surrounding agricultural land. “It will obviously just exacerbate the problem if nothing is done.”
Associated Engineering has been retained to provide advice and options, which consist of short and long term solutions.
The recommended option, Baker said, is to dredge the creek, restore the creek bank and investigate a location for an instream sediment retention area, which would support the reduction of sediment loading in that portion of the creek and allow for more cost effective maintenance options. The price tag for that option, option No. 4, is estimated at $405,000.
“It quite possibly could be something done over the next few years,” Baker said. “I was looking at this as a staged approach.”
While estimates are preliminary, Baker said $405,000 only outlines the cost of design, dredging and creek bank restoration. Further costs of implementing an instream sediment retention area would be discussed during the design phase. A potential factor impacting the cost is a private property boundary that runs along the creek.
“Quite frankly, I’m a little frustrated,” said Coun. Pat Cochrane. “I took that ($405,000) to be the whole cost of option No. 4.”
Coun. Stephanie Hoffman asked how long the benefits of simply dredging the creek would last.
“If that’s (instream sediment retention area) not put in, additional sediment will be put down and we will be in the same place in a number of years,” Baker said.
“What we’re doing with this wetland becomes meaningless if we do nothing,” Coun. Richard Enns added.
Mayor Jim Garlick said council was simply voting on spending $55,000 for design work and permitting, while the detailed options would be discussed during budget deliberations in the spring.
Other options Baker presented include doing nothing, dredging the creek as required at an estimated cost of $100,000 or dredging the creek and restoring the creek bank for an estimated $305,000. Regardless of which option is chosen, Baker said staff will look to have the work done before the 2019 freshet.
Benefits of supporting option No. 4, Garlick said, include protecting Coldstream Creek, Highway 6 and the constructed wetland.
“This recommendation allows for that to take place over time,” Garlick said.