Kirschner Mountain slide prevention work is expected to cost more than $1.2 million | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kirschner Mountain slide prevention work is expected to cost more than $1.2 million

March 07, 2019 - 4:43 PM

KELOWNA - City council will be asked on Monday to free up $1.2 million for work aimed at preventing what has been labeled as a possible “catastrophic” slide on Kirschner Mountain.

The money would come from an Insurance Deductible Reserve fund rather than out of taxpayers’ pockets, but two property owners could be charged for that work.

The owners of 2001 Kloppenburg Court could be charged $400,000 for earthwork and retaining wall(s), along with another $60,000 for “engineering consulting, testing and project management,” according to a staff report going to city council on Monday, March 11.

Similar work could be charged to the owners of 2045 Loseth Drive at a cost of $540,000.

In addition, staff is asking for $50,000 for ongoing monitoring and a $150,000 contingency fund. It isn't clear from the report whether these amounts could also be charged to the property owners.

There could be additional costs if the slope does give away, including utility shutdowns, road detours and a one-kilometre emergency access route for 80 to 90 homes that could be cut off. No cost is given in the report for that work.

Black Mountain Irrigation District is also considering doing drainage work in other areas of the mountain to reduce groundwater that could be contributing to the area that is cracking.

Geotechnical investigation work that has already been done has cost about $200,000, with Black Mountain paying $150,000 since it started that work. The City is paying the rest.

The City can try to charge the two property owners but, the report states, for costs that cannot be “secured” against those property owners “and perhaps some that are.” It also states the city may try to claim for damages against “the parties responsible for creating the unsafe conditions.”

The report doesn't say who is responsible, but this is a slope where rock and soil were piled as part of the Kirshner Mountain development. One of the developers claims the potential risk is being exaggerated.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 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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