The Regional District of East Kootenays board of directors held their monthly meeting in Cranbrook on Friday, August 1st. Funds were transferred to mitigate debris flow at the Fairmont Creek in Windermere, discretionary grants in aid were approved, and money was again allocated for the East Kootenay Energy Diet.
The Fairmont Creek area will be receiving $467,328 for phase one of the debris flow mitigation project.
The creek has jumped its channels starting years ago, which has subsequently caused severe flooding in conjunction with high runoff melts in 2011 and 2012.
The funding was split three ways; $155,776 each from federal, provincial, and municpal governments. Announced at the last meeting was the receipt of federal and provincial funding.
“The main part of the project is widening the creek – from the bottom of Marble Canyon through to the number 16 to the number 12 holes at the Mountainside Golf Course,” said area F director Wendy Booth.
New signage will also be installed along vulnerable areas to warn passersby of potential washout dangers.
The East Kootenay Energy Diet has been renewed for another year, and Invermere mayor Gerry Taft said the program will be more user-friendly this year.
He said last year’s program required homeowners to undergo inspections before and after retrofitting projects, which had to be pre-approved.
“Now you can get a photo of the work or a receipt and be eligible for the rebate without some inspections.”
Mr. Taft said that some municipalities offer homeowners additional incentives to retrofit. The District of Invermere most likely will offer retrofitting subsidies, but that has yet to be discussed, he said. However there are currently some incentives in place for new home buyers.
Among the recipients benefitting from discretionary grants in aid, the Village of Radium Hot Springs got $500 to put to the cost of the environmental assessment along the Old Coach Trail.
“People use that area right now for biking and recreational purposes, so it’s more of trying to legalize what’s already there,” Ms. Booth said. “And from an environmental standpoint, to do it in the least damaging way possible.”