Nearly $4.4 million has been made available to replace 2.7 kilometres of 80-year-old water pipe and construct a closed reservoir for the Arrow Creek water system.
Federal Industry Minister James Moore made the announcement July 8 on the Creston Town Hall lawn. The project will be funded equally by the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the Regional District of Central Kootenay under the Small Communities Fund.
“We are proud to invest in projects like upgrading the drinking water infrastructure in Central Kootenay that will benefit our community by improving much needed local infrastructure,” Moore said. “Our government’s commitment to municipalities, big and small, has never been stronger. Through the New Building Canada Plan’s Small Communities Fund, we are investing in priority infrastructure projects that have a positive and lasting impact on the quality of life of British Columbia’s residents while helping create jobs and economic growth.”
Joining Moore for the announcement were Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks, RDCK chair Karen Hamling, Area B director Tanya Wall, Area C director Larry Binks and Creston Mayor Ron Toyota.
“On behalf of the regional District of Central Kootenay, I express our sincere gratitude to Minister James Moore, MP David Wilks and the Government of Canada and to the Province of BC for each providing one third of the funding for the replacement of the Arrow Creek mainline pipe that distributes water to Erickson and the Town of Creston,” Hamling said. “The grant will help us to replace 80-year-old concrete and asbestos pipes that are leaking. In turn, it will mitigate water loss and provide users in Erickson and the town of Creston with a more sustainable system.”
The project will replace the existing open water reservoir with a closed cell system, the Erickson closed reservoir. The project also includes the renewal of 2.7 kilometres of water distribution pipe that is in poor condition and prone to frequent leaks. Once completed, this project will minimize health risks from water contamination and contribute to more reliable potable water delivery to Central Kootenay area residents.
“Today’s announcement will improve the health of residents, create jobs, and ensure that Central Kootenay remains one of the best places in the country to live,” Wilks said. “I am proud of our government’s historic commitment to infrastructure across Canada, and our government’s efforts to ensure small communities receive the infrastructure funding they need and deserve.”
Hamling also delivered a message of congratulations from Coralee Oakes, provincial Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
“The replacement of the existing water reservoir and renewal of the water distribution pipeline will ensure that Central Kootenay residents have clean and reliable drinking water for years to come,” Oakes said. “I commend Karen Hamling, chair, and the Central Kootenay regional district board for their vision and commitment to this project.”
Wall thanked RDCK and Town of Creston staff for their efforts in putting the grant application together.
“Thank you to all of our staff — they have worked so hard in preparing this grant application, and in servicing our existing infrastructure,” she said.
Binks also credited staff.
“Thanks to RDCK staff and especially [town finance director] Steffan Klassen for his tireless efforts in working with RDCK to get this grant application in order,” he said. “Thanks also to [Arrow Creek water system manager] Robin Douville.”
The project is among 55 recently approved in B.C. that will collectively receive more than $128 million in joint federal-provincial funding under the Small Communities Fund. These projects represent important investments in municipal infrastructure that maintain safe, healthy communities. Once complete, the work will significantly improve key municipal services for residents and help boost regional development.
The Arrow Creek water system supplies residents, businesses and orchards in Erickson and Creston.