Grant funding too late to make emergency repairs on Penticton Creek | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Grant funding too late to make emergency repairs on Penticton Creek

Sections of the Penticton Creek's channelized upper reaches are failing and need emergency work done before this year's spring freshet.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
March 01, 2021 - 5:10 PM

Emergency funds in the form of a flood mitigation grant are going to be granted too late, if they are granted at all, to help the City of Penticton make emergency repairs to the Penticton Creek channel.

The city was hoping to receive confirmation of grant funding amounting to $3.9 million from the Adaptation Resilience and Disaster Mitigation projects program to move forward with the next restoration phase and make emergency repairs to structures three and four (reach 6) on Penticton Creek.

Project planners working on the Penticton Creek Restoration project found the two sections, located above this year's planned restoration work, to be failing structurally.

They have become safety issues. The cost to make repairs is estimated at $950,000, none of which is in this year's budget.

Repairs need to be made before this year’s spring freshet, but city staff recently received word approval for the grant funding would not be confirmed until the end of this month or early in April, too late for the emergency work to be completed before high water flows this year.

The city is also planning to continue its naturalization and rehabilitation works on Penticton Creek this year on sections 3A and 3B, with an approved budget of $2,872,400.

A 'showcase' initial section of the creek and a section immediately upstream of it was completed in 2015 and 2018

The city is funding the project through its general fund at $718,000, with the rest coming from various grant funding sources.

But grant funds cannot be spent in anticipation of grant approval, which is putting the city in a bit of a bind.

The funds, if approved, would not be received in time for this spring’s freshet, which could start as early as mid-March.

Staff will be asking council at tomorrow’s regular meeting to approve an interim repair at a cost of $150,000, which would buy time for the problem section of the creek and see it through the spring freshet. More permanent repairs would take place during the regular ‘fish window’ along with this year's restoration efforts later in the summer, once the grant funds are approved.

Should the city be successful in getting the grant, there is enough money in this year’s budget to see both projects completed, but if the grant application fails, the city will have to review the size and timing of both works.

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 and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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