Flooding at Cache Creek park, July 2, 2020. The village is seeking $2.45 million in grant funding to safeguard its drinking water infrastructure against future flood events. (Photo credit: Tom Moe)

Flooding at Cache Creek park, July 2, 2020. The village is seeking $2.45 million in grant funding to safeguard its drinking water infrastructure against future flood events. (Photo credit: Tom Moe)

Cache Creek seeks $2.45 million for drinking water infrastructure

Grant funding would protect village’s drinking water infrastructure from flood threats

All members of Cache Creek council except Coun. Lisa Dafoe were present for the regular council meeting on Jan. 18, which began at 6 p.m.

HUB Online Network presentation

Gareth Smart of the HUB Online Network made a presentation about viewership of the Cache Creek council meetings, which were filmed and broadcast by the network throughout 2020. His overview of 2020 noted that 26 meetings were filmed for a total of 18 hours of content, and received 2,100 views in total, an average of 81 per meeting. The June 8 meeting had the most views (235), while the Oct. 13 meeting had the fewest views (23).

Smart said that 81 views (on average) per meeting represented nearly 10 per cent of the population of Cache Creek engaging with each meeting, and far exceeded the number of people who physically attended council meetings, although he noted that there was no way of knowing where viewers are watching from. He added that most of the viewers watch almost all of each meeting.

Coun. Sue Peters said she had experienced more people stopping her and asking questions about council as a result of seeing the meetings online. “There’s definitely value in it.”

Mayor Santo Talarico noted that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the network was a valuable asset to get council meetings before the public and allow council to be “democratically responsible”.

Smart added that the network hopes to be able to continue to livestream meetings, allowing members of the public to ask questions in real time at each meeting.

Footbridge lights

At the Feb. 24, 2020 meeting, council received a request for bridge and path lighting at the footbridge at the south end of Collins Road which leads to the Sage and Sands mobile home park. It was noted that the area was very dark and had been the scene of several incidents, with some residents avoiding the area as a result.

The RCMP had advised of the need for lighting in the area, and it was noted that the bridge was an evacuation route for residents of Sage and Sands.

READ MORE: Cache Creek council hears concerns about Collins Road footbridge

In his report at the Jan. 18 meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Martin Dalsin said that the lighting had been installed and the project was complete. He added that the first lights installed at the site had been vandalized.

Drinking water infrastructure

Council voted 4–0 in favour of supporting a grant application for $2.45 million to protect the village’s drinking water infrastructure from flooding. Council also committed to supporting the cost of any project overages.

The village draws all its water from wells, not from the Bonaparte River. The 100 per cent funding would complete several projects:

Raise the water treatment plant access road to above the 200-year flood level;

Extend the casing and electrics of well PW#7 to above the 200-year flood level;

Decommission low-lying well PW#6, and install a safe drinking water well above the 200-year flood level to replace it;

Install an emergency back-up generator;

Disconnect the clearwell gravity overflow to river piping and replace it with an overflow sump pump; and

Complete a water treatment plant flood failure evaluation and raise the electrics as needed.

Dalsin explained that the grant application had already been submitted due to a very short time frame. “We had to scramble to get the application in.”

Talarico said that the village’s public works crew had had a great deal of input into the project list. Dalsin clarified that they would probably not find out whether the grant was approved or not before this year’s freshet, and noted that because the grant program related to flooding, it would likely be highly subscribed, so approval for the application was not guaranteed.

Community bylaw officer

Peters said that the working group formed to facilitate the hiring of a joint bylaw officer for Cache Creek, Clinton, and Ashcroft was now waiting for approval from the Attorney General’s office, which was expected within four to six weeks. In the meantime, she said that the group was drafting an agreement between the three villages and a bylaw to regulate the service, and that all three communities had approved the budget.

“We want to try to keep everything as clean as we can for the three communities,” she said. “We want to be on the same thought for the three villages so there’s some consistency.” She added that getting the bylaw officer in place would hopefully happen within the next six months.

The meeting went into closed session at 6:20 p.m.

All minutes and agendas for Cache Creek council meetings can be found on the Village’s website at http://www.village.cachecreek.bc.ca/. Meetings normally take place on the first and third Mondays of each month (with some exceptions), and begin at 6 p.m. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 1.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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