City finds way to use Penticton Creek restoration grant money before it expires | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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City finds way to use Penticton Creek restoration grant money before it expires

FILE PHOTO - Work on the Penticton Creek restoration project stalled this year due to weather conditions last winter and this past spring, but the City says it has found a way to use grant funding that would otherwise be lost to improve a 14 metre section of the creek bed.
October 04, 2017 - 11:30 AM

PENTICTON - The City of Penticton will be able to take advantage of a grant to improve fish habitat on Penticton Creek even though original plans to use the money fell through earlier this year.

Infrastructure manager Mitch Moroziuk says a Freshwater Fisheries B.C. grant worth $200,000 can be steered towards improving a 14-metre stretch of the creek's riverbed in a project that could be completed before the grant’s March 31, 2018 deadline.

The City originally planned to revitalize the section upstream from the Ellis Creek bridge section, but due to last year’s cold winter and flooding this spring, survey information was delayed and the project was reprioritized.

Land negotiations for the next portion of stream bed, known as the Reach 3A lower project, also took longer than necessary, and ministry of natural resource operation fish permits to allow the work to be done during the narrow time frame in August couldn’t be obtained.

The portion of riverbed targeted for the grant is a short, steep section fish have difficulty migrating past because the water is shallow and fast moving.

“It’s one of the biggest barriers to fish getting upstream. The water flow is fast and thin, the fish are mostly out of the water,” Moroziuk says.

The concrete bottom of the creek bed will be removed and replaced with bigger and smaller rocks cemented in concrete to provide resting areas for fish migrating upstream. The concrete sides of that section of creek would remain intact.

The completed master plan for the restoration of Penticton Creek will be available for public consultation until Oct. 15. Staff will then review comments and public input, make any changes necessary and bring it back to council for adoption at a future council meeting.

Moroziuk says there are no specific dates for the plan as it moves forward, calling it a master blueprint for the project, expected to take 10 to 20 years to complete.

Find past stories on the restoration of Penticton Creek here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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