City moves forward on flood protection plan

Mayor Rob Sawatzky

VERNON - The city is moving forward on flood protection measures for the Okanagan Landing area.

Vernon Creek has been a frequent source of flooding, and the city has plans to redirect water from the creek into Okanagan Lake.

Councillors voted Monday to endorse an application to the provincial flood protection program to access funds for phase two of the Okanagan Landing project. Phase one wrapped up in May at Marshall Fields.

Mayor Rob Sawatzky said it was a timely move, given a recent presentation at the Okanagan Water Board about the "new normal" for flood patterns in the area.

"(The speaker) assured us our past models for building infrastructure are not adequate to what is happening now," Sawatzky said. "Flooding will be more severe."

He said it would be "wise to listen" and heed advise to prepare now for flooding down the road.

The Provincial Flood Protection Program provides two thirds of funding for eligible projects. The estimated cost of the next phase of the Okanagan Landing project is $2.1 million, leaving the city to pay approximately $700,000 for the remaining third. The city's share would be taken out of from storm drainage reserves.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.


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