Kaslo council, November 10: Kemp Creek dam project postponed

·3 min read

• Fixing the Kemp Creek dam after last spring’s rains may end up being a lot more expensive than first expected.

The tender for further repairs on the Village’s damaged water source has been cancelled after the only compliant bid came in nearly twice as high as budgeted.

“Three bid responses were received,” says Dunlop. “Two were disqualified as non-compliant. The compliant bid was double the expected cost at $338,500.”

So far the intake pipe has been restored, the road to the dam repaired, debris and hazard trees removed, Dunlop reported to council. But there’s still plenty of other work to be done: engineering and environmental assessments, concrete work on the dam and spillway repair, replacement or repair of incidental parts of the dam – the walkway, crane and handrails, stairs, etc. – and other work.

Staff and the engineering consultant recommended to council that “temporary repairs will be done before winter and the rest of the work in spring when waterflows allow.” Crews will ensure the dam is safe and operational until work can resume.

About $191,000 of work has been done to restore the dam (covered by insurance and Emergency BC grants); about $250,000 still remains.

• The Kemp Creek dam is not the only public works project that’s going up in cost. The Kaslo River Dike project was originally budgeted at $304,000. In an update, CAO Dunlop told council that had now been estimated at more than $461,000.

The project will see remediation and riverbank protection work done at six erosion spots along the lower portion of the river, as it enters the village.

The project is currently working through environmental and federal fisheries permitting processes.

Dunlop says they’re investigating how the shortfall will be covered – Village staff will be contacting the funding agent, the Union of BC Municipalities Structural Flood Mitigation Program – to inquire about further support for the project.

The work should be completed by next fall, about 18 months behind schedule.

• The Province is coming to the aid of municipal governments to help them weather the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Kaslo has been told it will receive $480,000 in emergency funding from the Province under the Safe Restart for Local Governments Program. The money can be spent on addressing revenue shortfalls, covering facility re-opening and operating costs, emergency planning, bylaw enforcement and emergency services, computer and other tech costs to improve interconnectivity and virtual communications, and help for vulnerable people.

• The Chamber of Commerce will hold the annual Christmas Light Up on December 5. Council approved requests for downtown road closures, a bonfire (COVID permitting) on Village property, use of Front Street Park for free, and for the Village to supply garbage and recycling bins for the event.

• Santa will come a bit early for Village staff. Council approved granting each full and part-time Village worker a $60 Christmas gratuity to thank them for their work through the year.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice