The Regional District of Central Kootenay has agreed to help a couple remove their home from a slide zone in the Slocan Valley. Photo: Connor Trembley

The Regional District of Central Kootenay has agreed to help a couple remove their home from a slide zone in the Slocan Valley. Photo: Connor Trembley

Agreement reached to help Slocan Valley couple remove home in slide zone

The RDCK is going to pitch in

by John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Valley Voice

A Slocan Valley couple is going to get help to remove their abandoned home from their property perched high above the Little Slocan River.

Scott Carlson and Christa Brakmann’s house is in danger of sliding into the river, as erosion eats away at the property.

The couple hasn’t lived in the building since the spring, and have moved to Castlegar.

But the house still remains a danger, and in November RDCK officials settled with the couple on a deal to help them get the building off the property before it tumbles down to the water.

The agreement was revealed in the minutes of the December RDCK board meeting.

“The purpose of the agreement is to make clear the understanding that the RDCK will work to remove the house, but that the liability ultimately still remains with the homeowners,” says Chris Johnson, the director of the RDCK’s Emergency Operations Centre.

“For example, if the RDCK is not able to remove the house due to safety concerns, and it falls down the bank and impacts the river, the RDCK will not be held liable.”

With the legal technicalities settled, the regional government and homeowners can begin work on demolishing the building and removing its materials. The couple faces a complete loss on what was to be their retirement home, and couldn’t afford to have it removed themselves.

While it’s a private building on private property, Johnsons says the RDCK has a duty to ensure the building doesn’t create an environmental hazard.

“All local authorities within B.C. are legislated to operate and maintain an emergency management program to manage and coordinate responses to emergencies within their political boundaries,” he told the Valley Voice. “In this case, the emergency is an imminent threat of a deleterious substance entering a waterway.

“Within our role in managing the emergency, our goal is to remove the hazard (the house) before it has a negative impact on the environment (the river and its ecosystem).”

It’s not known how much it will cost to remove the building from the property, as it’s still not even clear it will be safe to have work crews on the site. But Johnson says he hopes crews will be able to take down the home before spring runoff intensifies erosion on the property.

“Due to the nature of the unstable slope, we are, as of yet, unsure what a safe working distance from the edge will be,” he says. “We currently have geotechnical experts monitoring the slope to understand how active it is.

“From this data, a safe work distance will be determined, then a viable method of removal identified, and finally, an overall cost understood.”

Johnson says their first priority is the health and safety of the crews who’ll be asked to work on the site.

“If qualified professionals determine that the instability of the slope makes it unsafe for removal of the structure, we’ll have to look at other options,” he says.

READ MORE: RDCK working to help couple losing home in landslide

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Creston RCMP detachment. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Creston RCMP Report: 69 calls for assistance from March 1 to 8

On March 1, police attended a local business after a report that a person was causing a disturbance after being told to leave, due to the person not wearing a mask as per store policy.

Al Gribbin is School District 8 Trustee. File photo
Gribbin: The cost of purchasing laptops for students in grades 7 and 10

“I don’t like impulsive decisions when it comes to major purchases. This computer purchase may be the right decision but I am concerned that all the options have not been presented to the board nor carefully examined.”

The poster of the Unbound Film Festival. Photo: Vanessa Lozecznik
Diversity, mental health and addiction the focus of new Kootenay film program and festival

8 participants will receive free hands-on lessons on filmmaking from various experts in the industry to help produce a film that contributes to discussions surrounding mental health, diversity and addiction

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

Selkirk College’s Tenth St. Campus in Nelson is among the locations where Interior Health will deliver the COVID-19 vaccine within the West Kootenay. Photo: Selkirk College
West Kootenay vaccine locations announced

Interior Health has released a list of places to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Most Read