Lookout Lake Park and Lookout Brook Dam will receive funding from the provincial government for upgrades that include improving the stability of the dam. (City of Colwood/Facebook)

Upgrades for Colwood’s Brook Creek Dam pouring in

Improvements to mitigate risks for residents

Lookout Brook Dam in Colwood is getting some safety upgrades, thanks to funding from the provincial government.

Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean said the $730,370 in funding announced Monday will be used to improve the stability of the dam, prevent failure in the event of an earthquake, and help preserve Lookout Lake Park.

“These upgrades are great news for people in Colwood,” Dean said in a media release.

“This project will ensure that people and their properties are better protected while also maintaining Lookout lake Park as a great place to swim, hike and fish.”

A stability assessment in 2017 for Lookout Brook Dam, which was built in 1958, indicated the upgrades are needed in order to meet current safety standards and to better protect residential properties and municipal services in Colwood that would be affected by flooding or an earthquake.

Funding for the project is being provided through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), part of more than $12 million announced on Feb. 24 to prevent, eliminate or reduce hazards through structural flood mitigation projects in 18 communities throughout the province.

READ ALSO: Colwood eyes upgrades to shore up 60-year-old dam

Communities in B.C. have received more than $40 million for similar projects through the CEPF since 2017.

“In order to reduce the risk to British Columbians from hazards like flooding, we’re investing in mitigation projects,” said Mike Farnsworth, B.C. Solicitor-General and Minister of Public Safety. “We know that to improve public safety and create resilience among people and families, it’s critical to plan ahead with the aim of preventing disasters where possible and lessening the impact they have on our communities.”

A suite of seven programs eligible for CEPF for local governments and First Nations and their communities are administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. Funding for flood risk assessment, emergency support services, centres and training, flood mitigation, evacuation routes make up the original five programs. Funding of $5 million for equipment and training for volunteer and composite fire departments was included in May of 2019. Another $1 million for Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training, which is available for eligibility to all First Nations communities, was also added, bringing the total for CEPF to $69.5 million.

The next deadlines for CEPF applications are March 13 for emergency operations centres and training, and April 17 for evacuation route planning.

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