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Press Release
Young Road Dyke Project Update March 19, 2015

Young Road Dyke Project Update

The City has noted recent articles in the local press concerning the Young Road dyke project, including threats of legal action.

Acting Mayor Sam Waddington said, “Although it has been many years since Chilliwack experienced a serious flood, lessons from those events must not be forgotten. The municipality is responsible for local flood control measures, and must act in the best interests of its residents in trying to prevent the tragic and devastating results that a flood can bring.”

The Young Road dyke protects 40,000 Chilliwack residents, the downtown core area, the hospital, water and sewer infrastructure, as well as BC Hydro, Telus, CN Railway and the Trans-Canada Highway. The potential damage from a flood in this area would be extensive, and would affect the entire community.

The Young Road dyke needs to be improved to meet current Provincial standards. The project follows several years of work sponsored by the Provincial government to model the prevailing hydrological conditions, and the City is acting on the advice and recommendations of qualified engineering professionals. The project has the support of the Provincial and Federal governments. In the City’s estimation, this is work that is required in the public interest.

Acting Mayor Waddington said, “The City does not agree that the claims that have been threatened are legally supportable, but that is not really the point. If the City is required to pay compensation to some nearby landowners who are affected by the work, then it will respect that legal obligation. That is just a fact of life we face in local government. Some public projects give rise to private claims, and some do not. If proper claims exist, the City must bear that cost. Flood control is an issue on which the City must respect, and protect, the interests of the public at large.”

Chilliwack City Council has concluded that improving the Young Road dyke is a project that meets that interest, and intends to proceed with the project for that reason. The City is also committed to keeping an open dialogue with the affected residents, and every effort will be made to accommodate the needs of property owners and to reduce the impacts of this project.

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