City Council Voices Support for Grant Application
Prince George, B.C. – Concerned property owners sought and received the support of Prince George City Council tonight.
Advocating on behalf of five property owners, group spokesperson Tom Wilkinson led a delegation representing 140-160 households along Lansdowne Road from Pierrory to Wiens Road who want to prevent their backyards from slipping into the Fraser River.
He told council all the properties involved are above the 200-year flood plain, but says major riverbank erosion during the freshet of 2012 is now encroaching on the property boundaries (at a rate of 7 inches per year).
The property owners hired an engineering firm to design and cost out a riverbank stabilization project and say it will cost $1.6 million to mitigate the erosion.
Wilkinson says they’d like to apply for funding available through Emergency Management BC that would see the cost shared by all three levels of government and would like the City to sign on as a proponent.
The application idea received unanimous support from council and the matter has been referred to administration for a report back to council.
In expressing his support for the motion, Councillor Albert Koehler expressed some frustration the federal government wasn’t taking a greater role.
“Why don’t the feds have to care for more of this than they do considering the land is owned by them? It’s not nice how we’ve been pressed into a corner here.”
Garth Frizzell agreed with his colleague’s concern adding jokingly, “They (feds) never pass the buck, they pass the responsibility.”
Chief Engineer Dave Dyer told council one option would be to create a local service area similar to the sewer project in the Hart neighourhood.
He also told council he wasn’t sure if there will be a grant intake available this year but said it’s important the City is prepared the next time one is.