Flood, wildfire prevention funding on regional district UBCM wishlist | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Flood, wildfire prevention funding on regional district UBCM wishlist

FILE PHOTO- Trails, floods and fires - like the one in Kaleden on July 4, 2017 - are on the minds of regional district directors as they prepare to meet with provincial ministers at the upcoming Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention next week.
September 22, 2017 - 9:00 PM

PENTICTON - Among the issues regional district directors hope to bring up with provincial ministers at the upcoming Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, is more funding to cover flood prevention projects.

Directors hope to convince the province to fund 100 per cent of flood mitigation planning and capital works projects.

This spring’s flooding brought to the forefront a number of issues challenging the local government, including landslides, dike maintenance and debris flows.

Directors see the present policy of the province taking no responsibility for flood mitigation to be a confusing position as they are responsible for Okanagan Lake outflow at the Okanagan Lake dam.

The board feels the present funding model for flood mitigation is not sustainable, and are asking the province to spell out what its responsibilities are for flood protection in the South Okanagan.

Directors are also hoping to persuade the province to provide 100 per cent funding for community and regional wildfire mitigation, claiming the current provincial funding formula doesn’t allow the district to adequately address the remaining and ongoing wildland fuel issues at the appropriate scale. The regional district has performed $2 million worth of wildfire mitigation work since 2004.

Improvements to the application for tenure process are also being sought as the district continues to make applications to secure sections of KVR trail.

Citing prolonged response times to tenure applications, the regional district would also like to see more clarification from the province regarding the status and requirements of tenure applications.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities convention takes place Sept. 25 to Sept. 29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

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