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Posted: May 13, 2016

Idlewild rehab moving forward

Rehabilitation work on the Idlewild Lake dam is expected to hit full speed this summer.

City of Cranbrook chief administrative officer David Kim reported May 9 that grant details have been finalized with the (Union of B.C. Municipalities) UBCM and “we are expecting to receive the agreement soon.

Cranbrook CAO David Kim
Cranbrook CAO David Kim

“Design is well underway, including geotechnical work and ‘intensity, duration and frequency modelling’ to determine creek flows. Archaeological Impact Assessment (AlA) site work is scheduled for the first week of May,” Kim told council.

“The project tender is anticipated to be in early July with construction to start early August. The Joseph Creek bypass is under review to determine if upgrading is required,” he said, adding an Idlewild Park Master Plan will be developed to illustrate and describe the future development of the park.

“The plan will build on the 2015 Idlewild community survey, which gathered over 1,000 responses from the public. The survey highlighted the values the community wants to see retained or enhanced in the park,” Kim said.

The public will have opportunities to participate through open houses tentatively planned for early June.

As part of the overall project, fish salvage will take place in conjunction with the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the BC Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), Kim noted.

“The city has been working with FLNRO and local environmental professionals to trap and relocate Western Painted Turtles from the reservoir to approved new permanent location,” he added.

Photos courtesy Blair Stevenson
Photos courtesy Blair Stevenson

Following Kim’s report to council, Councillors Wesly Graham and Norma Blissett seized the opportunity to ask about the orange plastic fencing that has ringed the lake since last year, with sections reported in the lake recently by some residents.

“It’s a much-loved park,” Blissett said.

Coun. Tom Shypitka said he is glad to see a timeline in place for dam work. “This is easily the most anticipated” city project, he said.

Coun. Ron Popoff enquired about the possibility of the dam rehabilitation project incorporating a power generation aspect.

Eric Sharpe, city director of Engineering and Development Services, said power generation was considered as part of the redesign work but ruled out.

“It looks like power generation is not something we are going to undertake. We would lose money trying to do it,” he said.

Lead image: A tired plastic orange fence, wrapped around Idlewild Lake to stop people going near the lowered water level, has sagged into the lake at several locations, prompting people to complain to the city. Photos courtesy Blair Stevenson


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