City to host open house on flume

Report on project to date also available on city website

The bottom part of the rendering shows the completed phase one and the top

The bottom part of the rendering shows the completed phase one and the top

The City of Kimberley will be hosting an information session on the Mark Creek flume project in mid-July, although the exact date has yet to be determined.

Although there will be some work done on the rehab project this year, the majority of the work on the final two phases will occur during the 2015 construction season.

The information session will update residents on the project to date, and what can be expected next summer.

In the meantime, those interested can check out a report prepared by City Manager of Operations and Environment Services, Mike Fox, entitled Mark Creek Flume Rehabilitation Timeline and Summary of Work.

As the title suggests, the report includes a look at how things have progressed thus far.

• Spring 2011 flume failure was noted in the flume walls and temporary bracing was installed. In order to prevent a potentially catastrophic failure, the City has mobilized to take remedial action.

• Fall 2011 the City amended the financial plan to allocate $245,000 to engage a design and engineering consortium to develop plans for the Mark Creek Flume Flood Management and Stream Rehabilitation Project (the Project).

• Winter 2011/2012 borrowing authority and public assent for the full estimated cost of the Project was secured, $4.25M; this was in recognition of the need for immediate action, but the intent was never to “go it alone”. Public meetings were held and the community was told the City hoped to secure funding for 2/3 resulting in an estimated property tax increase of 1.05 per cent for all assessment classes.

• Fall 2012 Phase One of the Project was undertaken, and the bottom third was replaced to mitigate critical failure points and preserve public safety.

• Grant funding to support the costs of the Project has been sought from multiple sources since 2010, including an unsuccessful application to the 2012 federal Gas Tax infrastructure program.

• Spring 2013 over 200mm of rain was received by Southeastern BC within 48 hours; major flooding and road washouts were experienced up and down the Columbia Valley, the Elk Valley, and throughout Southern Alberta; the replaced element of the flume performed well and catastrophic flooding experienced by many other communities was avoided in Kimberley.

• Summer 2013 significant undermining and erosion is noted at the joint between the existing flume and the redeveloped bottom third due to high spring flows, highlighting the urgent need to complete the project.

Mayor and Council were aware that it was unlikely that the provincial and federal governments would retroactively grant money for work already completed, but as Fox explained in his report to Council, the work had to go ahead.

“In recognition of the urgency and to protect public safety, the City took proactive measures Fall 2012 to replace the first critical section. Without action in 2012, homes, infrastructure and businesses would have been at risk the following spring. The estimated value of protected public and private assets is $14.7 Million plus contents; including $2.885 Million in critical infrastructure – such as roads, water and sewer lines, a highway bridge, and utility lines – and $11.8 Million in commercial and residential land and buildings (based on BC Assessment values).

“The final phase of the Project will replace the middle third and upper third of the flume. The initial plan was for the Project to be completed in the summers of 2013 and 2014, with other riparian enhancements extending several years beyond as funding became available. However, based on delays in Project funding, it is anticipated the Project will be completed Summer/Fall 2015. The redesigned waterway is premised on the behavior of water in the complete system (i.e. relieving groundwater pressure), and thus the current situation of half-completion is not stable in the medium to long-term.”