Cleaning up after a disaster isn’t cheap, as the Village of Cache Creek will tell you.
At the June 8 Council meeting, Acting Administrator Gayle Olson informed the councillors that their bank account is zero at the moment. The Village, however, has $1.3 million in mutual funds that it can access and she said she would be making a withdrawal this week to cover the bills that are pouring in.
Mayor John Ranta said the repairs to Stage Road will cost approximately $1 million and Old Cariboo Road, about $350,000. The Village is also paying contractors to clean, sweep and repair as needed. He estimated that it would cost the Village $1.9 million altogether to repair its infrastructure.
“Recoverable costs will fall short by 20 percent,” he said, noting that disaster assistance only covers up to 80 per cent, “or $400,000. We’ve told them that represents more than one year’s residential tax charges, so it will set us back a bit.”
He said the Village couldn’t raise taxes to make up the shorfall, not after what the residents have been through, so they may have to dip into its Landfill Legacy Fund to pay for the remainder of the repairs, or it could recover the costs over a longer perior of time.
“It remains to be seen,” he said.
Coun. David Dubois asked if the standard bid process applied for contractors doing the clean up work.
The mayor replied that the acting administrator, through consultation with Public Works foreman, hired a local Cache Creek contractor for the initial work.
“We’ve made it known to contractors that we’re paying Blue Book rates,” said Olson.
Blue Book rates for construction and clean up work are used by the provincial government.
The Village is hiring a sweet sweeper to go over the streets again this week, and is consider how to clean the debris out of the creek, from near Brookside Campground to the river.
“I’m delighted with the progress we’ve made to date” with the cleanup Mayor Ranta stated after the meeting.
He said he felt badly for those who had been devastated by loss of their possessions and homes, but “the resilience of the community is demonstrated every single day” as neighbours help neighbours and help comes in from around the province.