The City of Penticton is continuing its work to revitalize the Penticton Creek, restoring fish habitats and creating better flood protection for residents.
“This initiative conforms with two council priorities, environmental sustainability since we’re improving the ecosystems within our community making things better for the fish, and secondly it is a good governance priority because it is basically flood protection,” said Ian Chapman.
According to Chapman, when the city adopted the Penticton Creek Master Plan in December 2018, it split the creek into reaches “which were then prioritized by the benefits provided either to fish or flood protection.” A couple of the high-priority projects have already been undertaken including the Showcase project and Reach 3A Lower “which collectively extend from the upstream side of Ellis Street bridge to the downstream side of Nanaimo Avenue bridge.”
City council voted unanimously to redirect $159,000 from the city’s capital reserve to be used for design work for the restoration of Reach 3A Upper and 3B of the creek, a continuation of the projects already completed. According to Chapman, city staff initially requested funding assistance, with council’s support, from South Okanagan Conservation Fund and the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund for $159,000 each to complete the required budget, but was denied by the latter.
“The intention is to do fundraising, not just come to council or to seek grant funding, through the balance of next year and early 2021. Then we can actually proceed with construction of the works, with the finish window in 2021,” said Chapman.
According to city staff, the capital reserve account balance was at approximately $2.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2018. Coun. Jake Kimberley had staff clarify that the redirection of $159,000 from this account will not impact the established budget or citizen tax rates.
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