Jocelyne Gilbert looks down into the deep Newsome Creek gully on Sunday, Oct. 28, which is becoming less and less stable. (File Photo)

Regional district takes on Newsome Creek work

Province to fund half of feasibility study, unwilling to budge on responsibility for creek work

In the face of provincial government agencies steadfastly maintaining that it is not their responsibility, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board has begun taking action to mitigate the rapid and dangerous erosion of Newsome Creek’s banks.

The heavy freshets in 2017 and 2018 caused the creek to change its course, putting homes and businesses along Caen Road in Sorrento at risk if the banks erode further.

The CSRD board sent a letter to Doug Donaldson, the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development, in Nov. 2018 requesting the province collaborate with the CRSD and private property owners providing necessary funding for a feasibility study on mitigation work in the creek.

Related:Erosion worries plague homeowners along Newsome Creek in Sorrento

A response from Donaldson’s ministry was received on Dec. 21 and discussed at the board’s Jan. 10 meeting.

The response reiterated recommendations in previous reports on the creek suggesting that property owners consider moving their houses and a study be launched to see how the ravine could be stabilized. It also stated that the Water Sustainability Act allows local governments to undertake restoration of a stream channel and goes on to say that the ministry has approved such works for other communities in the CSRD’s current position. The letter from the ministry outlines possible grant funding sources which could help pay for stream mitigation work.

CSRD Chief Administrative Officer Charles Hamilton said he does not agree with the province’s assessment of the division of responsibilities.

“Barring a legal challenge there is a shifting onus onto the CSRD to do something to help the residents living along the boundary of the creek on Caen Road,” he said.

Related:CSRD wants immediate Provincial action to fund Newsome Creek study

The provincial government had already offered to provide $25,000 to fund half of the feasibility study necessary before work in the stream can begin. The CSRD board voted to fund the other half of the study by reallocating money which had been earmarked for deploying the regional fire department’s structural protection units.

“I think this is a very good use of the funds and very timely,” said CSRD Area C Director Paul Demenok who has been involved with assisting the residents along Newsome Creek for some time.

He added that it is becoming clear that damage to the creek banks caused by the 2017 and 2018 freshets is affecting properties along the entire length of the creek but the situation on Caen Road is the most dire. A group of concerned citizens who call themselves the Newsome Creek Watershed Action Group will be co-hosting a meeting with the CSRD to discuss the state of the entire watershed on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 6:30 PM at the Sorrento Memorial Hall.

The board also directed CSRD staff to begin applying for grants which will help pay for the work needed to make the stream banks safe for adjacent homes.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Rock slide forces rural Keremeos residents to leave their homes

Witness describes boulders bigger than her car

Okanagan College to develop wellness strategy for drug use

The Kelowna campus has 28 employees trained in the use of naloxone.

Ranch’s plan to use processed human waste fertilizer prompts concern in Turtle Valley

Turtle Valley residents invited to hear facts around biosolids

Downed powerline delaying Highway 1 traffic

Traffic heading west from Salmon Arm slowed at Squilax-Anglemont bridge

BREAKING: Highway 3 near Keremeos closed due to rockslide

Highway 3 just west of Keremeos is closed as of 8:44 p.m.… Continue reading

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

UPDATE: Destructive blaze in West Kelowna

A unit of a condo complex is on fire in West Kelowna

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Pet Planet picks up Okanagan’s cannabis for pets

True Leaf Medicine International expands retail distribution to 3,500 stores worldwide

AquaVan comes to Okanagan Science Centre

200-litre mobile touch tank allows you to get up-close with marine invertebrates

Army of support behind Black Press saleswoman battling cancer

GoFundMe helps empower Sue Folliott’s fight

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

No joke: Kelowna’s first zero-waste grocery store to open April 1

Farm Bound Zero Waste has announced its opening date

Most Read