Debris in drains often lead to damage. (Contributed)

West Kelowna to tackle drainage issues throughout city

City council wants to add an extra $100,000 for drain maintenance

With snow packs, and the springtime rain coming into the year, West Kelowna city council plans to address the drainage problems within the city.

Areas that are in need of storm drain maintenance include Glenrosa, Shannon Lake, and Kinsmen Park. West Kelowna’s budget for maintenance throughout the city is around the $250,000 mark, but council plans to add an extra $100,000 to the proposed 2019 budget to address the issues.

Allen Fillion, general manager of engineering and public works for the city, said the additional funds will be put to good and quick use.

“It has been under funded for so long. There’s a lot of work in reclaiming and upgrading ditches that have been damaged from water,” said Fillion. “West Kelowna was developed as a regional district and we don’t have underground storm drains.”

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Fillion said they will have no issues finding where to spend the money, but will need to be smart about getting the biggest bang for their buck.

“It’s not a whole lot to go towards upgrades, but it is good. We had to do emergency work last year which cost close to $30,000 for West Kelowna. As we move forward, we will be trying to bring more funding,” said Fillion.

The city has not yet given a direct purpose to the additional money, West Kelowna council’s proposed tax increase from 3.0 to 3.8 will have a direct impact on the upgrades the city can do to the affected areas.

The areas around Glenrosa, Shannon Lake, and Kinsmen part are just a few examples of places in West Kelowna that have seen some of the biggest damage from water damage, snowpacks, rain, and flooding.

“There has been lots of flooding related to lake levels, but drainage overall is a big concern for us,” said Fillion. “The snowpack is normal right now, which is a good sign. But the last couple years have been wet and has damaged the ground (all over West Kelowna).”

West Kelowna council is set to pass the proposed budget in February.

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