Two separate emergencies have cost both the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and the City of Grand Forks nearly $335,000, though both local governments have kept their receipts to be refunded by the province, for the COVID-19 and flood threat emergencies that the area has faced this spring.
Costs of flood protection
Over three days of unfurling giant, orange Tiger dams around Grand Forks, restocking sandbag piles and coordinating emergency response personnel, the RDKB racked up a bill for $189,050 for its emergency response to freshet 2020 in the Boundary. The City of Grand Forks, meanwhile, spent $145,915 bracing for the Granby and Kettle rivers to rise well beyond their banks. RDKB interim manager of emergency programs said that RDKB aims to rent what it can for flood protection measures, instead of purchasing, as per Emergency Management B.C. policy.
In the end, most of the temporary protective measures installed around the city’s downtown area remained dry through the river peaks on June 1, aside for a low point in the City Park parking lot, where water crept a couple of inches high on the Tiger dam.
In support of the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s evacuation order for some Salmo residents, the RDKB also spent more than $6,000 to create a an emergency centre and support families.
Costs of COVID-19
The RDKB says it has spent nearly $15,000 on COVID-related services during the pandemic, representing eight separate emergency assistance requests to the province. Stephens said last week that the bulk of that money has gone to offer more portable toilets for people who need them to maintain hygiene during the pandemic. Some money has also been spent on signage for the RDKB’s facilities. As the pandemic and state of emergency draws on, Stephens said that COVID-19 spending may increase.