Repairs first, relief second

Board members for the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen approved spending on Thursday afternoon to repair an exposed water main in Naramata.

The repairs are needed as a result of the spring's high water levels on Okanagan Lake causing erosion on Mill Road, which exposed 200 metres of underground pipe and impacted up to 400m.

The project is expected to cost at least $125,000, and could cost up to $270,000.

The RDOS will pay for the project in its entirety, through emergency reserve funds, but the hope is that Disaster Financial Assistance will reimburse 80 per cent of cost for the work needed.

"If we were completely denied (funding), I'd be shocked," RDOS Chair Karla Kozakevich said.

She added that the regional district has funds available for the Naramata water system, put shouldn't have to pay for this project, saying that the damage to the water main was clearly related to the flooding. 

The RDOS could wait to see if the DFA approves the requested funding, but the board said the work needs to move forward with sustained cold weather approaching.

"The water main will freeze in the winter and a catastrophic break would occur leaving the residents at the end of Mill Road without water for an undetermined amount of time," a report from the RDOS said.

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