Kimberley City Council voted Monday evening to proceed with the final two phases of the Mark Creek flume project, utilizing the $2,068,582 provided by the provincial and federal governments, and providing a further $1.4 million from the City.
The resolution states that the remaining portion of the project should cost no more than $3,468,161.
The City has already spent $3.3 million on the first phase. The entire project will come in at $6.7 to $6.8 million, Mayor Ron McRae said.
Coun. Jack Ratcliffe said there was still a shortfall of some $250,000, but with the 20 per cent contingency built in to the project, as well as having sourced a better price on rock (which was the major overrun in phase one) it should be made up. If not, Ratcliffe said, the city would borrow the money through short term borrowing.
A report by the City’s Manager of Operations Mike Fox detailed the history of the project:
• 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 at $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 grant funding for 2/3, resulting in an estimated property tax increase of 1.05% for all assessment classes.
The community was also told the tax increase would be 3.14% on all assessment classes if no grant funding was received.
• Fall 2012 – Phase One of the Project was undertaken, and the bottom third of the flume 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 in 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 Kimberley avoided the catastrophic flooding experienced by many other communities (See Appendix 1, photo 4).
• Summer 2013 significant undermining and erosion due to high Spring flows was noted at the joint between the existing flume and the redeveloped bottom third, highlighting the urgent need to complete the Project
There has been three funding applications to date:
Flood Protection Program – Fall 2011 – informed that the funding was oversubscribed and to wait for the new program
Gas Tax Funding – April 2012 – $3.65M grant request plus city cost land of $600,000 = total project $4.25 million
Flood Protection Program – Fall 2013 – applied for $3.63M on $6.64M project (applied for monies spent to date of application as well) – told to revise application because grant would not pay for $3.1 already spent, revised application for $2.07M on $6.82M project – grant announced May 2/14