On Friday, community members, local elected representatives, and special guests celebrated the completion of a multi-year upgrades project for the Arrow Creek Water System. The event—hosted by the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK)—provided guests with the chance to learn about the history of the local water system, which was originally constructed almost 90 years ago, in 1929.
“While the reason for the event was to mark the completion of the recent upgrades, it was also an opportunity to celebrate the long history of the system and the many people who were involved in bringing clean, plentiful water to the communities of Erickson and Creston, which was key to agricultural success in the area,” said Tanya Wall, Chair of the Arrow Creek Water Treatment and Supply Commission and RDCK Director of Electoral Area B. “I’d like to recognize the community for taking the initiative back in 1919 to establish the water service and everyone who was involved in getting us to where we are today.”
An open invitation was issued to people in Erickson and the Town of Creston to attend the event, which featured remarks from special guests, a ribbon-cutting of the restored drinking water fountain, and a display of the history and timeline of the water system.
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, the federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, provided a special statement as part of the event.
“It’s great to see this multi-year project reach completion here in Erickson,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “These vital upgrades to the community’s aging water infrastructure have helped renew the Arrow Creek system and extend its life, ensuring cleaner drinking water is available to residents of Erickson and Creston for generations to come. Our government is proud to support projects like this, which safeguard public health while laying the groundwork for economic prosperity and sustainable growth.”
The Province of BC also recognized this important milestone.
“Our government is committed to improving the services people rely on,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “The Arrow Creek water system is a great asset to the regional district and this upgrade will have a positive impact in the lives of people in the Central Kootenay region. This project is an example of how partnerships between all levels of government support communities to thrive and make life better for British Columbians.”
The project was benefitted by Gas Tax Fund – Community Works funds.
“Every year the federal Gas Tax Fund assists municipalities by providing flexible, stable and predictable funding for local public infrastructure projects,” said Director Wendy Booth, President, Union of BC Municipalities. “The completion of this project ensures safe, potable drinking water for the community, now and into the future.”
Special guests included: Wayne Stetski, MP; Michelle Mungall, MLA; Ron Toyota, Mayor, Town of Creston; Karen Hamling, Chair, RDCK Board of Directors; Jim Elford, Councillor, Town of Creston; Don Low, Chair, Erickson Water Distribution Commission; and Maury Murphy, former Erickson Water Service Superintendent.
The historical display will be available for viewing at the Creston & District Community Complex until October 9th.
The Arrow Creek Water System supplies the Town of Creston and the Erickson community with drinking and irrigation water. The upgrades project has spanned eleven years and has included much-needed improvements to infrastructure, including the replacement of 11 km of the transmission line, construction of two enclosed reservoirs, transmission line metering installation, and the installation of three pressure reducing stations.
The upgrades project was primarily funded by a $4.16 million contribution from the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund and by a $2.92 million contribution from New Build Canada Fund–Small Communities Fund. The project also received $712,000 in federal Gas Tax funding from the Union of BC Municipalities’ (UBCM) Community Works Fund.
For further information on the event or the water system, please call 1-800-268-7325 ext. 8171 or visit www.rdck.ca/water.