Flood solutions need provincial participation

The city will spend money on a solution to flooding around Nunns Creek but it may still not be enough to fix the area’s water woes.

In order to completely fix the problem of flooded roads, three road crossings need to be upsized. Those are Highway 19A – also known as the Discovery Harbour Highway, the Old Island Highway through the Campbell River Indian Reserve and 16th Avenue.

Only 16th Avenue is a city road. The two sections of highway are under the jurisdiction of the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure so the city can only fix part of the problem.

George Paul, acting city manager, told council that if the city does their share, it may inspire the province to do the same.

“From an administrative perspective this priority is very, very high. It’s a transportation issue and it leverages the province to take care of those two areas that need to be done as well,” said Paul.

For the city’s part, it will apply for funding through a Building Canada Flood Protection Program to upgrade the 16th Avenue/Nunns Creek culvert to improve drainage. The program will provide the city with two-thirds of the estimated $1.9 million needed for the project. The city must make up the difference.

Ron Neufeld, the city’s manager of operations, said the city could finance its part of the project through the Capital Lending Fund or dip into reserves.

“We have at least four existing reserves we could borrow from, there is around $2 million available,” said Neufeld.

However, that would mean taking money at the expense of other city projects.

Coun. Claire Moglove said she had a hard time supporting the motion for the city to commit to funding part of the project when there is some uncertainty as to where the money will come from.

Coun. Andy Adams disagreed saying flooding is a serious issue and something the city should try to fix.

“If anyone tried to drive to Wal-Mart through the holiday season they would certainly realize it’s a problem. I see it as money well spent,” said Adams.

Mayor Charlie Cornfield agreed, saying “it’s a good deal – any projects that help us to solve problems are.”

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