Flooding in Cache Creek park on July 4, 2020. Flooding in recent years has impacted the park, and work last year was hampered by the heat dome, water restrictions, and a BC Wildfire Service fire camp at the site. (Photo credit: Tom Moe)

Flooding in Cache Creek park on July 4, 2020. Flooding in recent years has impacted the park, and work last year was hampered by the heat dome, water restrictions, and a BC Wildfire Service fire camp at the site. (Photo credit: Tom Moe)

Cache Creek council discusses park, graffiti, and speeding issues

State of the park a concern after flooding, heat dome, and water restrictions all affected it

Notes from the Cache Creek council and Committee of the Whole meetings of June 6. Coun. Annette Pittman was absent.

Cache Creek park

Chief Administrative Officer Damian Couture provided an update about the work being carried out in the Cache Creek park, where a raised road has been built at the north end. The road will provide secure access to the water treatment plant on the west side of the park in the event that the park is flooded.

The road can be accessed from Valleyview Drive, and Couture said that the original plan had been to put sod on the hillside below it. He explained that it has taken some time to get quotes back from different suppliers, and staff are now looking at the various quotes and options, which will likely come before council.

He said that most of the electrical work at the water treatment plant — which has necessitated several Stage 4 water restrictions — has been completed. “All of the control systems for the pumphouse have been replaced and changed. There’s been a lot of little things to do with pieces of equipment that are very, very old and failing.” He added that the project is still within budget.

Coun. Sue Peters noted that there have been a number of comments about the grass at the park, and getting it back to what it was, and asked Couture about some of the challenges the village was facing.

“Two very big ones,” said Couture. “Between 2015 and 2020 inclusive, the park flooded three times. In 2020 it was very bad, and was under water for a considerable period of time. You’re rebuilding grass after a bunch of sediment has been deposited. It was cleaned off as best as could be done, but you can only get so much of it, and it has to have the opportunity to grow again.

“We cleared everything off, and last year was supposed to be the year that we really got back at it, but as soon as the heat dome hit there was a Stage 4 water restriction. Nobody, including [the village], was watering.

“Very shortly after that the fire camp was established there and all the sprinkler systems were turned off to prevent them from getting sprayed. So not only was it severely impacted in 2020, it didn’t get watered in 2021. We’re basically building a field from scratch.”

Couture added that there have also been a lot of problems with the irrigation system and sprinkler heads, and getting contractors is an issue: local firms have said the work is beyond their scope, and larger firms are too busy.

Mayor Santo Talarico noted that the park has a history of flooding, which not only impacts the appearance of the park but creates a cost for the municipality.

“The next group of people sitting around this table has to identify that as a priority — or not — and if so, decide on what action is going to be taken to get us out of this constant flooding situation down there.” He said he had worked out some rough figures, and estimated it would cost about $1.5 million to address the situation by raising the entire park up to be above the 200-year flood plain.

Graffiti issues

Council discussed the multiple complaints the village has received regarding an increase in graffiti in the community, and possible solutions/mitigation actions. Couture explained that five different businesses have complained about graffiti, which is on private property, not village property, meaning that the village cannot go in and deal with it.

Talarico noted that if tagging appears on village property, the most effective solution is to remove it immediately, to discourage more graffiti. Peters added that if someone sees a person tagging property, and knows who they are, they can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously and report it, which gives the RCMP a starting point. “Speak up, if you see someone doing it or tagging property.”

Coun. Lisa Dafoe said that some places have an area designated for tagging, but added that it might not work in Cache Creek. Couture agreed that it might be a good idea, but that he was unable to think of a suitable spot that was village-owned property.


Couture noted that speeding continues to be an issue within the village, and identified Quartz Road and Stage Road as particular problems (among village-controlled streets). He said that putting up a speed limit sign does not change things, but that there are other environmental design measures that can be taken that will cause people to slow down. The perception that a road is four lanes can cause people to speed, which is an issue along Quartz and most of Stage.

“The conversation with the RCMP is that we need to put physical things in place to subliminally scare people into slowing down.” He said there are relatively easy (although not necessarily cheap) things to do to slow down drivers. One is to put more curbing on the “through” road on either side of a junction with another road (an example is on Valleyview coming down the hill in front of the coverall), which creates more pedestrian space, pushes the stop line on the side road further out, and causes drivers on the through road to slow down.

Other options would be centre medians (possibly landscaped) in roads that are wide enough, a solar-powered sign that can be moved around that shows drivers their speed, or a bike lane on one side of a road like Stage. Speed bumps and rumble strips are discouraged as they affect ambulances and the people they are carrying, and rumble strips can prompt noise complaints. Couture noted that any option(s) chosen would have an impact on the public works department, and that work should be carried out in chunks of road at a time in order to be effective.

The four-way stop at Quartz and Stage was also identified as having a significant problem, due to drivers heading east on Highway 1 and then north on Highway 97 using it as a detour to bypass the highway intersection. Couture said that a possible mediation tool would be making Quartz Road at Highway 1 one-lane, one-way only on to Highway 1, to prevent drivers heading north using it as a bypass: “That would stop 50 per cent of the problem [at the four-way stop].”

Removing the four-way stop and turning it into a roundabout is also an option: “I know that is its own thing that people like or dislike… ICBC is very involved in community information and engagement for the first roundabout in a community, and they are very open to providing materials and having public engagement to talk about why [roundabouts] are better than a four-way stop and how they better direct the flow of traffic.”

Couture said there would be space at the junction of Stage and Quartz Roads for a roundabout. “It’s a very, very different vision of the space in front of our community hall and fire hall than what is there now and what we’ve ever discussed, but it’s something to consider.”


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