Are all taxpayers equal in Golden?

A letter to the editor about how taxes are being spent and the Bridge2Bridge project.

After reading the updated version of the Bridge 2 Bridge (B2B) project on the Town of Golden website, I just have to respond to some of the content.

Throughout the document, the Town acknowledges and recognizes that Gould’s Island is already considerably lower than the existing dyke on the north side of the Kicking Horse River and this project shows no plan to improve the dyke on Gould’s Island! They actually have the unmitigated gall to state, “The proposed concrete head wall will prevent any future ice shoving onto the right bank and under ‘extreme’ rare events may contribute to additional ice shove onto the island.”

Perhaps the assessed value of the real estate on the north side of the river compared with that on the island indicates that there in not much value in the eyes of the town council and the town administration and are therefore leaving the island vulnerable to “extreme” rare events.

Does the Town not have an obligation to protect ALL properties that may be endangered?

Having lived on Gould’s Island for the past 40 plus years , I know first hand of when the problems of flooding have occurred.  It has NOT been during the spring run off time, it has been during the winter when there have been unusual weather patterns causing huge ice formations on the river, inevitable backing up causing a back flow of water with resulting water flowing on to Gould’s Island along with huge car sized blocks of ice which were scattered in the yard, Yes, during this event, the north bank was in danger but the water there was not over the bank.

In 1978 a similar situation occurred when icing of the river forced much of the water  into the channel causing it to flow over the bank and into the back yard of the residence and also into the basement.  The town of Golden was very efficient in responding to this event by building a dyke on the island side of the channel. These are just two rather rare and unusual events that have caused flooding in the winter.

Never have I experienced flooding on Gould ‘s Island during the spring runoff.  So, what is all the concern about for those property owners on the north side of the Kicking Horse River?  They already have a dyke that is at least a meter higher than the lowest area on Gould’s Island!!

Council should be considering some economical, logical and obvious solutions to this problem.  Firstly, continue to have an ongoing application in place for dredging the gravel out of the Kicking Horse River.  We all know this would allow a more continuous and  unrestricted flow of the water during spring runoff time. Secondly, remove the rock ledge at the mouth of the river channel across from Kumsheen Park thus permitting a lot of the excess water to funnel into the channel during the runoff time without endangering anyone.

In my opinion, this whole fiasco proposal in not really about flood protection, it is about beautification of one specific area of the town at a huge and unnecessary cost to the taxpayers of Golden.

Julia Cundliffe