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Flood protection service established for Oyster River

New service gives regional district reliable funding mechanism for infrastructure maintenance
Heavy rains caused the Oyster River to breach its bank in 2017, flooding parts of the popular Oyster River Nature Park. File photo

The Oyster River community will be getting a new flood protection service thanks to a new bylaw passed by the Strathcona Regional District.

At their July 13 meeting, the board established the service to fund and operate flood protection infrastructure in the community. The service will cost about $8,350 per year, to be taken out of property taxes at a rate of about $0.0270 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Existing infrastructure in the area includes the Glenmore Road dike, which was updated in 2019 using provincial funding. Prior to this new service being established, the regional district had no reliable way of funding annual maintenance needs of the system.

“I am very pleased that the people in the Oyster River area have supported this initiative” said Brenda Leigh, director for Electoral Area D. “The Oyster River has a long history of seasonal flooding and this will certainly allow the regional district to be more proactive in ensuring that damage from such events is minimized.”

Board chair Brad Unger also said that “although the regional board is often focused on larger regional issues, we cannot forget that serving our unincorporated communities is one of our primary responsibilities, and I’m glad that we were able to assist in this initiative.”

The initiative went to a public approval process. There are about 800 residents affected by the new service, who had the chance to voice their objections. The regional district received zero objections through the alternative approval process, which closed on July 4.

Although the regional district will be unable to raise funds for the new service until 2023, it will now be able to start the process of ensuring that plans are in place for annual inspections, performance monitoring, and any repairs or maintenance tasks that are required.

RELATED: Strathcona Regional District awards contract for dike work in Oyster River

Open house on flood risk in Oyster River

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