The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) is applying for a $6.3 million grant to deal with ongoing erosion which is threatening homes and property along the banks of Newsome Creek in Sorrento.
Since 2016, runoff in the creek has degraded the steep banks to the point where it is undermining the foundations of several homes and posing a risk to other properties. Every spring, increased water flows in the creek take an additional toll on the stability of the banks. In addition, runoff from the creek creates an additional strain on the Sorrento Water System due to increased sediment levels near the water intake.
A 2019 study, commissioned by the CSRD, showed extensive rehabilitation work will be required to stabilize the slope in the affected area. The CSRD has been lobbying the provincial government to fund the project, however, suitable funding programs did not exist or were not available for this project.
At the 2020 Union of BC Municipalities conference, the CSRD was made aware of a possible funding opportunity through the Building Canada Infrastructure Program - Rural and Northern Communities Grant.
Electoral Area C Director Paul Demenok has been working directly with residents trying to find solutions. He was pleased Selina Robinson, BC's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, advised the CSRD of this funding opportunity at a meeting held during the Union of BC Municipalities convention in September.
"My fingers are crossed on behalf of the community that this will occur. It is a significant issue in my community that is affecting the entire community. We need to get this done," said Demenok.
CSRD Directors voted unanimously in favour of submitting a grant in the amount of $6.3 million, which would cover the entire capital cost of the project. If the grant application is successful, the CSRD would need to contribute staff time and support towards managing the project.
The CSRD will now await word on whether the grant application is successful. There has been no information provided to the CSRD about when the decision will be announced.
Photo: An image of the undercut bank of Newsome Creek with residences located at the top of the ravine.