Creek needs lots of work

The District of Summerland and residents near Eneas Creek have significant work to do to mitigate the risk of spring flooding, according to an engineer’s assessment.

Following two years of freshet flooding, the district hired Associated Engineering to examine the creek flowing from Garnet Reservoir and suggest projects to reduce flood risk.

A total of 18 projects are recommended for public property, with another 16 that would need to be conducted by private landowners.

At the top of the public list is the remediation of the creek alongside the trail at Peach Orchard Road at a cost of $192,000. Capacity of the creek should also be increased along Garnet Ave. and Tingley St. in the short term with an estimated cost of $120,000.

Looking longer term, the Garnet Ave. and Tingley St. section of the creek should be restored to its natural pathway, although that would require the involvement of private landowners and cost more than $300,000.

Several smaller, cheaper projects were also suggested, including beaver management near the Garnet Dam ($28,000) as well as inspecting the pipe crossing under Peach Orchard Road and Highway 97 ($5,600).

A District of Summerland staff report indicates the projects will be considered as a part of the municipality's capital budget. Provincial government funding will also be sought.

It’s unclear where funding for the projects on private property will come from. District staff are currently working with the Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Development on examining ways for homeowners to receive approval to work on the creek.

Because the provincial government holds jurisdiction over waterways, residents along Eneas Creek have faced significant red tape when they wanted to carry out their own flood mitigation work.

“Residents along Eneas Creek have expressed a strong desire to engage in more discussion on this issue,” the staff report reads.

Summerland council was scheduled to discuss the issue Monday, but it was bumped to the meeting in two weeks due to time constraints.

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