Finally, flume funding

Over $2 million coming from province and federal governments

The long-awaited announcement has finally arrived. The City of Kimberley received notice late last week that the federal and provincial governments will provide $1,034, 291 each for the Mark Creek Flume rehabilitation project. Pending Council approval, the City will also commit $1,034,291.

Mayor Ron McRae says it is incredibly good news.

“It is absolutely great news,” he said, adding that with this amount from the upper levels of government, and the City authorized   by taxpayers to borrow up to $4.25 million, the total budget will be $6.8 million.

“The 6.8 million will see the project totally complete,” McRae said.

The project will go out to tender again, he says.

“We will likely tender out different pieces of it, rather than one large contractor,” he said. “That way there is a greater opportunity for local contractors to be a part of the project. The big barrier for smaller contractors for sizeable projects is the inability to come up with the bonding. Smaller operators just don’t have access to that.”

McRae says that in a sense the City will be the general contractor and oversee the sub-contractors. That doesn’t mean a lot of city crews will be working on it, however.

“We won’t be using a significant number of city forces, but some, especially for sewer and water.”

As for timing, McRae says it is highly unlikely that the contractors will be in the creek this construction season. However, there is still a lot of work to be done, such as surveying and preparing the sides.

“There will be significant work done attributed to the project this year.

“Once all the pieces are in place, it is quite likely we can do the whole project in the next construction season.”

That would be the 2015 season.

The joint funding was announced for 26 community flood mitigation projects across the province.

The federal/provincial funding comes from two separate programs.

In 2008, the Government of Canada allocated $136 million from the Building Canada Fund Communities Component to support local government infrastructure projects in B.C. communities with a population of less than 100,000 people. Of this funding, $25 million was specifically allocated to accommodate disaster mitigation projects selected through the Provincial Flood Protection Program.

The Provincial-Territorial (PT) Base Fund is providing $175 million to British Columbia to address core infrastructure priorities. Under this program, a joint commitment of up to $46.6 million was identified for initiatives under the Flood Protection Program.