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$3M grant will help with repairs to Turtle Lake dams in southeast Kelowna

Review of both dams identified potential safety hazards, including a risk of failure

The city has received a $3 million grant from the province to address safety concerns at the two Turtle Lake Reservoir dams in southeast Kelowna.

The money is coming from the Community Critical Infrastructure Fund (CCIF).

A recently completed review of both dams by an independent consultant identified potential safety hazards, including a risk of failure.

In the spring, city staff took actions to reduce the risk which included dropping the water level in Turtle Lake to reduce hydraulic forces on the dams.

It significantly lowered the risk of failure and staff continue to inspect the dams weekly.

The reservoir provides primarily non-potable water for agricultural use, and Turtle Lake remains available for fishing, paddling, and other recreational activities.

The next steps include a detailed assessment of each dam, developing and submitting a remediation plan to the province for approval, and then getting the work completed.

The city has three years to complete the process to meet the terms of the grant.

If the entire $3 million isn’t used staff have asked council to consider putting any remaining funds toward the Rutland Centre Sewer Connection Project.

The original price tag for the project was $12.3 million, however, staff told council it has grown by $8.8 million due to construction cost inflation.

The city received a $9 million grant from the federal government in 2021 to install sanitary sewers in the Rialto, Rutland, and Hall Road connection areas as part of the septic sewer removal program.

Staff also asked council to amend the 2023 Financial Plan to increase the budget by $6.4 million, with funding of $244,400 from the Wastewater Offsite and Oversize project, remaining funds from the CCIF, and up to approximately $6.15 million from the Septic Removal Specified Area Reserve Fund.

The budget shortfall is partly addressed by $2.4 million from the Growing Communities Grant Fund as approved by council on Oct 16.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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