City of Kamloops has no responsibility for rusted cars in Westsyde park - InfoNews

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City of Kamloops has no responsibility for rusted cars in Westsyde park

Amanda Cosburn stands with her two children on a trail near the affected riverbank. Beneath the waters, numerous rusted cars sit embedded in the sand.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Amanda Cosburn
June 05, 2020 - 7:30 AM

If you’ve ever taken a stroll at Westsyde Centennial Park in Kamloops, you’ve probably noticed some odd, rusty fixtures poking out of the riverbank.

Amanda Cosburn has two young kids and runs a home-based daycare, and often takes the tots for walks at the Westsyde neighbourhood park. Recently she noticed the rusted car parts jutting out from the riverbank, and worries for the children who play in the area.

“We use the park and the dyke and the beach quite a bit, and with quarantine, we’ve been walking in the dyke a lot. Just seeing the erosion and the exposed cars is enough of a cause for concern,” Cosburn says. “I’m shocked by how it has just been left… there are rusty parts, there are wires, and some of it floats down the river.”

Cosburn believes the car parts, which have now been covered due to the rising river levels, are dangerous.
Cosburn believes the car parts, which have now been covered due to the rising river levels, are dangerous.

Cosburn says she worries that a child, teen or pet will be injured while in the area, and believes many of the cars parts have floated away over the years as the river rises and falls with each flood season.

“That’s a concern I’m hearing a lot these days from my neighbours and residents, there’s a been an issue for a while, and it gets brought up around flood time and around high water, and then it gets forgotten again,” Cosburn says.

Cosburn says she and a few neighbours have reached out to the City about the safety concern, but she doesn’t know if they understand the scope of the problem.

“I want the city officials to come down and see it first hand, but right now they probably can’t because the water levels are so high, and that is also a concern. This erosion is exposing all this debris and it’s being washed away,” Cosburn says. “I do want to see it strengthened and repaired. I’ve heard a few residents say it's not in the city’s jurisdiction, and if it’s not I’d like to see the city advocate for its communities and use their voice as the City to talk to our MLAs.”

A shiny fender stands out amongst the rusted auto parts.
A shiny fender stands out amongst the rusted auto parts.

Greg Wightman, the City’s utility services manager, says the riverbank is not within the City’s jurisdiction and he believes concerned Kamloops residents should take their concerns to other avenues.

“From my understanding, the cars might have been installed by the (Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada) for some riverbank erosion protection many years ago, but that’s really (Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s) program and I don’t know it. But I do know that the cars that are along the riverbank are not there for flood protection, it would be completely outside the City of Kamloops responsibility and jurisdiction.”

If not the federal department, Wightman says the cars may also be the responsibility of the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. He says the City urges people to call various other levels of government to voice their concerns and says the City will not become involved in the matter.

iNFOnews.ca has not yet heard back from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, or either of the local Members of the Legislative Assembly. 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 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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