The north end of the Cache Creek pool park after the May 23 flood

Flood recovery continues in Cache Creek

Village works steadily to clean up after the mess left by the May 23 flood.

Flood repair work is continuing in Cache Creek. Although it may seem as though the town has recovered fully from the May 23 flash flood that dropped a foot of rain in an hour over Cache Creek, there are still many areas where work is ongoing.

“There is nothing that I would characterize as a setback,” said Mayor John Ranta.

“Broadly speaking, restoration is going well and approvals are forthcomig from Emergency Management BC.”

Restoration of the pool park is ongoing, he said, although the  park’s parking lot and Gateway  (Cariboo Sam) Park work came in overbudget.

The province, through EMBC, only pays for 80 per cent of the costs to restore qualifying damage to pre-flood conditions. The Village received $10,000 for the work in Gateway Park, but the company bidding on the work submitted a $19,000 bid.

At Cache Creek’s Sept. 14 Council meeting, Administrator Melany de Weerdt noted that the town’s public works crew had already done some of the work in the park, thereby reducing the original scope of the tender. She suggested that they might get a better price if they retendered it now, or else they could wait until Spring to reissue it.

Ranta said the water diversion channel behind Valleyview Drive is “a bit of a sticking point” since there was never a right of way placed on it and the province won’t spend money on private property without one.

“It’s frustrating from a political point of view to take an excessive amount of time to restore someone’s property to pre-flood conditions,” he said.

The Administrator agreed that it wasn’t going well, but the owner of the property said he would grant a right of way to the Village, so they’ve brought that to the province to see if they will reconsider.

Ranta voiced his concern after the flood that some of the waterways may have been permanently altered. However, he says, the province won’t pay for a study to examine changes. They will only provide funds to return conditions to where they were before the event.

The province did, however, provide funding to restore parts of Lopez Creek, and Cache Creek from Lopez Creek to the Bonaparte River needs work. The head wall of the culvert by Quartz Rd. needs to be restored, and its counterpart on the other side of Quartz Rd. by the firehall also needs work.

After receiving funds from EMBC, the Village still had to obtain Section 9 approvals to work on samon-bearing streams.

De Weerdt said restoration projects on Upper and Lower Old Cariboo Rd as well as the Quartz Rd. culvert are in final stages of negotiation and have contractors lined up to do the work.

The repaving of Old Cariboo Rd. is not expected to begin now until late September or early October, so funding could still be approved for the restoration of the Old Cariboo road bed.

She said there are still a few smaller projects to be done, some sweeping to do. Repair of the Village Office steps will be done in house, and the Firehall restoration is almost complete.

“Even with province paying 80 per cent of the costs,” said Ranta,  “Cache Creek is going to have a large bill.”

He said Council has yet to get a grip on next year’s budget.

“Until we get a picture of where we are with the cost of recovery and the necessary projects in the upcoming year, it’s difficult to predict what Council will think of raising taxes,” he said.

He noted that Council already has an annual 2.5 per cent tax hike  factored in to account for Cost of Living. Any more than that, he said, would be a challenge.

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