The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RKDS) is launching a study to consider taking ownership of a dyke at Granite Creek.
According to the provincial government’s list of dykes, the Granite Creek Dyke is just over three kilometres long and protects between 10 and 50 buildings. It parallels Granite Creek from Hwy 37 South to Lakelse Lake.
In 2017, a high water event caused significant damage to infrastructure in the regional district. At the time, the RDKS board was able to mitigate some of the costs using disaster financial assistance (FDA) funding.
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Out of three independent sites, two met the FDA reimbursement criteria. The Granite Creek dyke did not meet the requirements because the RDKS could not supply the ministry of environment with proof of ownership.
Currently, there is no responsible party willing to take on ownership and maintenance of the dyke, and RDKS staff note that because of this, the next high water event will be compounded. The area has a history of high water events causing damage to property, and the frequency of such events is on the rise.
Launching a feasibility study will give RDKS staff time to create a plan to find out if the regional district and community are willing to take ownership of the dyke and assume maintenance responsibilities.
Funding for the study will be drawn from the RDKS Feasibility Reserve and the $20,000 cost will be added to the draft budget. Owning the dyke would mean the RDKS could create a new service area and a tax bylaw to fund the costs associated with the dyke.
For that to happen, there would need to be a professional assessment of the creek and dyke, as well as public consultation.
Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News