The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is applying for a grant to fund erosion mitigation along the fragile Newsome Creek banks. (File photo)

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is applying for a grant to fund erosion mitigation along the fragile Newsome Creek banks. (File photo)

Columbia Shuswap Regional District applies for grant to fund Newsome Creek work

A 2019 study found erosion of the creek banks threatens at least four properties

A way to fund work that could save homes along Newsome Creek in Sorrento may have finally been found.

At its Nov. 19 meeting, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board approved an application to a provincial government program which could fund work to stabilize the banks of the creek. Erosion of the creek between the Trans-Canada Highway and its mouth at Shuswap Lake has concerned nearby homeowners for years.

Read More: Regional district takes on Newsome Creek work

Read More: Engineers find ways to shore up Sorrento’s Newsome Creek

If the application to the Rural and Northern Communities grant is approved, a maximum of $6.3 million could be put towards erosion mitigation work. This would cover 100 per cent of project costs.

Changes to the creek’s course have been a consistent worry for residents, particularly those along the creek’s east bank who have seen the edges of their properties undermined by the winding creek.

A study commissioned by the CSRD in 2019 found erosion mitigation on the 520-metre section of the creek between the highway and Shuswap Lake would cost between $4.8 and $6.2 million.The study found that four properties along Caen Road in Sorrento could be affected by an imminent failure of the bank.

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“It is the opinion of staff and provincial partners that this grant provides an excellent opportunity for the province to provide support to the Newsome Creek residents affected by the severe erosion and the Sorrento water users affected by severe turbidity, as Newsome Creek deposits debris near the Sorrento water system’s lake intake each year during the freshet season,” a report from CSRD staff reads.

At the Nov. 19 meeting, CSRD protective services team leader Derek Sutherland could not provide a date by which staff might know if the grant is approved.

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