RDKB investigates drainage service in Oasis

Emotional meeting follows residential evacuation

The community of Oasis has asked the regional district to build a case on developing a drainage service, which could be a long-term fix for residents who fear they may be the next to be evacuated.

Trevor and Shari Young were told to leave their property last week, after an out-of-pocket geotechnical assessment of their Hanna Drive home recommended their departure.

The family is currently living in a local bed and breakfast and deciding what to do next since their house insurance doesn’t cover ground water.

“They are in dire straits,” shared Area B director Linda Worley.

The meeting called on drainage this Tuesday was not directly for the Youngs, though the majority of people who turned up were there to support their neighbour.

About 40 people attended the informative gathering after the 72 residential properties in Oasis received notice in the mail.

“The whole idea of the meeting was to bring all of these people together so that folks could ask questions and get the real answers, rather than the rumour monger,” explained Worley. “I wanted everybody on the same page as whose roles of responsibilities covered what.”

MLA Katrine Conroy, senior Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) staff, and members of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) joined Worley in addressing concerns about the sloughing shoulder along Hillcrest Drive, saturated properties on and around Hanna Drive and a culvert on Oasis Crescent.

Residents in attendance signed a request to have the RDKB investigate the community’s desire for a drainage service, which would not be implemented or even fully examined until a referendum resulted in the majority of electors voting for the service.

“Only two regional districts in the province offer this service because it’s highly expensive and usually only done on new subdivisions,” said Worley.

But finding water paths and mitigating damp properties with proper infrastructure would resolve the matter.

The regional district will create a mock-up service and put it to the community eventually after a case is built. And, if favoured, a hydrologist would be hired to do an in-depth study at a cost that is still to be determined.

A full report could help build a case if any ifs and buts raised result in some findings.

“Something somewhere diverted water in the area that normally would take a different path and now it seems to be affecting homes, not just (the Youngs’) but there are sinkholes along Hanna Drive that were never there before that are appearing through water building under the surface,” explained Worley. “If a hydrologist report could prove that someone diverted water somewhere along the way or something was altered through services, if that can be proven, there may be a chance of some support if work has to be done by those government entities to correct something they did.”

Worley is not the only one walking away from the meeting with an onslaught of follow-up work. Nearly each official in attendance committed to working on behalf of Oasis residents and their dampened properties.

She said, the ministry agreed to take a thorough look at all of its infrastructure on its right of way and check on maintenance scheduled for ditches and culverts in the area.

An improvement to Hillcrest Drive is also on tap, according to news shared at the meeting this week. A portion of the road sloughing will be dug up and reinforced with matting to add further strength before it’s repaved.

Conroy, among others in attendance, is searching for any additional assistance for the Young family and their unfortunate predicament.

The Young family recently took steps suggested by a geomorphologist, who assessed their property after the couple’s complaints of eroding soil and shifting retaining walls and willow tree reached the Emergency Operations Centre in Trail.

The house was deemed safe to live in for now, but there was a risk noted of more damage over time, and it was suggested the couple follow up with a full geotechnical assessment immediately.

The full report just completed prompted the couple and their children to move out of their home and into temporary housing. The Youngs could not be reached for comment by press time Thursday.

The emotional meeting did put residents face to face with officials but still highlighted that the onus falls onto private property owners.

“I would describe it as an ongoing problem,” said Worley. “Since I’ve been the director for the last six and half years, I’ve addressed it every year on the hill (Hillcrest). The last two years, I’ve had complaints and been aware of problems on Hanna Drive.”

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Trees blown over by a windstorm in forest owned by Anderson Creek Timber. Photo: Anderson Creek Timber
Timber company logging near Nelson raises local concerns

Anderson Creek Timber owns 600 hectares of forest adjacent to the city

Keith Smyth, Kootenay Savings director at-large joins children from the Kids’ Care Centre at St. Michael’s Catholic School. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Savings continues credit union’s tradition of giving

Funding totalling $48,250, is going to a wide array of Kootenay initiatives

From left: Karl Luedtke (West Arm Outdoors Club), Dale Williams (BCWF), Molly Teather (FLNORD), Gord Grunerud (West Arm Outdoors Club), Eugene Volokhov (Grand Prize Winner), Casey McKinnon and Lex Jones (Jones Boys Boats). Photo: Tammy White, Whitelight Photography
Balfour man lands big prize from angler incentive program

Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Most Read