Mayor executes siphon agreement with OIB
The Town of Oliver is executing a Gallagher Lake siphon repair agreement with the Osoyoos Indian Band.
Cathy Cowan, the town’s chief administrative officer, said the agreement will allow the town to reroute a section of irrigation siphon through a different portion of OIB land.
Ultimately, this means returning the portion of the existing canal right-of-way (2.7 acres) to the OIB.
The agreement will see the town pay the OIB $110,000 to return the land back to its original state through the removal of infrastructure and restoration. In addition, $100,000 for the new land tenure area for the installation of the new underground siphon.
In January of 2016, a section of canal at Gallagher Lake was severely damaged by a rock fall. A temporary fix followed, with a subsequent budget allocation of approximately $11.4 million for a permanent fix.
The province pledged $5 million in funding, but the town was not able to get a funding commitment from the federal government. As a result, the town has to borrow approximately $6.48 million.
The rerouting project, slated to begin next month, will see irrigation water flow into a pump station through a 1.5-meter pipe north of Country Pines Mobile Home Park. It will then travel south on Highway 97 between the highway and Gallagher Lake Frontage Road. The pipe will then cross the highway onto OIB land and reconnect to the existing canal.