It is estimated the total cost of recovery projects from last year’s flooding in the Williams Lake river valley will be about $7,664,456.
During its regular meeting Tuesday, March 9, city council approved allocating $1,495,768 from the sanitary sewer account to cover the city’s 20 per cent portion of the recovery projects.
Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) will cover the remaining 80 per cent, however, all funds to be expended by the city for the recovery have to be approved by DFA.
Council also approved the direct award purchase from Formula Contractors Ltd. to replace bridges lost during the flooding.
Up until now the city has been renting bridges from Formula. The city’s corporate officer, Ross Coupé, in a report advised council that by staying with the company the city will save some money.
Hasib Nadvi, direct of planning and operations, noted in a report that key items approved so far by DFA are construction and engineering of three emergency bridges south of the Comer Street parking lot entrance, wastewater facility fencing, engineering for the first to 14th bridge from the parking lot to the Fraser River and a recovery engineer.
DFA has also approved the hiring of a recovery manager which the city hopes to obtain this spring.
Coun. Sheila Boehm said the entire city is asking when the river valley will be open to the public again.
Muraca responded the bulk of the construction will be done this year and there will be heavy equipment and crews in the area and it will be open for discussion once some of the bridges are in place.
“We might be able to open up a portion, but we have to keep in mind that the Comer entrance is the only way to get down there,” he added.
The biking bridge replacement planned for the Williams Lake River will be going ahead, even though the river bed was widened and it will cost more than originally planned. Nadvi said a contribution from the province of $50,000 to cover the additional cost will ensure the biking bridge can be completed.