Directors pushing for flood mitigation

It’s unlikely the Regional District of North Okanagan will prevent future floods at Ashton Creek.

It’s unlikely the Regional District of North Okanagan will prevent future floods at Ashton Creek.

The Electoral Area Advisory Committee has received a staff report on stream remediation and it’s recommending that RDNO write a letter to the provincial government.

“We will remind the government of its responsibility of flood mitigation and stream remediation,” said Jackie Pearase, director for Ashton Creek.

The provincial government has previously indicated that RDNO must conduct a feasibility study on possible flood mitigation on the creek.

However, Pearase says there is a concern the costs of upgrades and liabilities will be downloaded on to RDNO even if it simply does a study.

“The last person to touch it, owns it.”

Pearase insists that creeks are a provincial responsibility and Victoria has previously spent money on Ashton Creek to try and address flooding.

“The province did the work there and they need to fix it,” she said, adding that Victoria has also approved of logging that leads to debris in the creek.

“The province is well aware of the issues on Ashton Creek. The residents have expressed their concerns. The province needs to do its job.”

In the report, staff indicates that there is no funding for waterway management and any expenditures would likely be covered by property owners in Ashton Creek.

There is also the issue of long-term liability related to improvements.

“Any workers undertaken upstream will have potential consequences on downstream properties,” said Ron Baker, community/protective services manager.

“Some may not be known until the next major flood event. Defending against legal claims and paying out on judgments are costs that must be considered when establishing the budget.”