BC Hydro-funded upgrades to Centennial Park boat ramp in question

Did Revelstoke city council look a gift horse in the mouth, causing the present to be withdrawn?

Did Revelstoke city council look a gift horse in the mouth, causing the present to be withdrawn?

At their Mar. 22 regular meeting, Revelstoke city councillors seemed taken aback after receiving word that BC Hydro’s plans to upgrade (and pay for) improvements to the Centennial Park boat ramp were now off the table for the time being.

The news came in a letter from Pieter Bekker, the provincial Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights. He told council that due to a Jan. 24 council letter questioning the upgrades, he had told BC Hydro to cancel the project, and that it would be reviewed again in 2013.

The background to the story is complex, but boils down to this: Following the Columbia River Water Use Plan, the provincial Comptroller of Water Rights ordered BC Hydro to upgrade the deteriorating ramp. Community groups including the Revelstoke Rod & Gun Club and the North Columbia Environmental Society objected to the plan, saying the money should be spent upgrading boat launch facilities at Shelter Bay. The Rod & Gun Club also expressed safety concerns about the Centennial Park launch. Other stakeholders, such as the RCMP, wanted the Centennial Park ramp upgraded. At a January city council meeting, a local BC Hydro representative had informed council the funds to fix the ramp were not transferable to other projects. Read our Jan. 19, 2011 story on that debate here.

Council then wrote the provincial comptroller of water rights, inviting him visit and review the situation.

The comptroller’s response came as somewhat of a surprise to council. “Given the safety concerns expressed in your letter, BC Hydro will be provided further direction to cancel the project,” writes Bekker.

“In terms of your request for a site visit with City and BC Hydro representatives, I will notify the contact in your letter ahead of time when other business brings me back to the Revelstoke area,” he continued.

Council’s reaction to the letter showed surprise. Mayor David Raven said it was “quite a strong letter.”

“Is this what council really wanted?” asked Coun. Steve Bender. “Did he read this right?”

City economic development director Alan Mason reminded council that funding for the estimated $190,000 project was designated for Centennial Park. “The funds were not transferable,” Mason reminded council. “If you don’t want the improvements at Centennial [Park], then you don’t get the money,” Mason said of his ongoing assessment of the situation.

“We don’t want to lose the money,” Coun. Tony Scarcella said.

“I am worried about the liability issues,” said Coun. Phil Welock. The ramp is showing wear, especially the lower portions.

Council opted to ask city staff to investigate options regarding boat ramps and to study the location and provide a conceptual plan for its development. Staff will also look into a 2013 Water Use Plan review to gather more information on it. A motion to this effect was passed by council, with councillors Bender and Scarcella opposing.

 

 

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for July 2

Items from Revelstoke newspapers, as gleaned and edited by Cathy English, curator… Continue reading

Trans-Canada Highway closed due to flooding west of Revelstoke

Heavy equipment is on scene trying to reopen the road to traffic

Heavy rain in Okanagan results in slowest start to fire season in four years

119 hectares of land burned so far this year, compared to 991 ha in 2019, and 3,835 ha in 2018

Video: Revelstoke Highlanders Pipe Band play for long-term care residents on Canada Day

The facility opened it’s doors and windows so the tunes could drift in

Highway 1 traffic near Revelstoke down 23 per cent for May

Traffic was down 40 per cent for April compared to 2019

RCMP brass addresses concerns over recent actions of police in the Southeast District

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

73-year-old man missing after paddle boarding on Okanagan Lake

RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating the man, who went missing Tuesday, June 30

Cougar shot by RCMP will be returned to First Nations

A cougar that threatened a residential Princeton neighbourhood prior to being killed… Continue reading

Travellers required to wear masks: Kelowna International Airport

Masks or face coverings are required at all times at the airport

Canada Day tractor incident kills three children, injures seven in Quebec

The tractor driver has been arrested following the accident

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Dog rescued from rocky ledge in Summerland

Penticton Search and Rescue members perform high angle rescue

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Most Read