Protecting the future of Golden

Mayor Christina Benty talks about the importance of dike improvements critical to protecting our downtown.

For five plus years, Golden has been lobbying the government at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) meetings to secure funds for the necessary dike improvements critical to protecting our downtown.

In January we received confirmation that the Golden Kicking Horse River Diking project (also known as Bridge to Bridge) has finally been approved for up to $2.24 million in federal/provincial funding.

The primary objective is flood control improvements to bring the dike up to the 200 year flood level thereby providing protection for the Historical Downtown.

The project is multifaceted and incorporates a number of secondary benefits.

Not only will the flood risk be addressed but also we will have the opportunity to enhance tourist and pedestrian amenities, beautify and landscape a key part of our community and remove the poles and underground the utilities.  This project is another step of the ongoing transformation of the downtown with a focus on both containing and embracing the Kicking Horse River.

Next steps: The completion date is the end of 2013.

Because of the scope and scale of the project, the tight timelines and short construction season, council have directed staff to prepare a loan authorization bylaw thereby allowing for the borrowing of the municipal portion.

This equates to funds up to $2.3 million.

Given that once completed the project will provide benefits for current and future generations, this loan will be a 30 year loan with the Municipal Finance Authority.

In striving to deliver quality public services in a fiscally responsible and transparent manner council is seeking electoral assent to borrow these funds.

In the weeks to follow, we will provide ongoing project details through the media and the town website.