To repair the Telegraph Creek Dock and Boat Launch, the RDKS expects the project to cost a minimum of $139,097. (Contributed Photo)

RDKS needs more funding to repair Telegraph Creek dock

Once grant is secured, a final decision can be made

The Regional District of Kitimat Stikine (RDKS) is awaiting grant approval to decide what to do with the aging Telegraph Creek dock and boat launch.

Quotes received for its reconstruction were higher than planned and have pushed staff to pursue further funding to allow the project to proceed.

“We either have to do a partial repair, a full reconstruction or decommission it,” says Deklan Corstanje, the RDKS economic development officer.

“We’ll know what we’re working with whether or not we have the grant and (if so), how much of the grant that we get.”

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At the moment, the project is expected to cost at least $139,097. A resolution of support from the board was approved at their December board meeting to submit a grant application through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) this month.

If fully awarded, the grant can help close the current funding gap.

Corstanje says it can take several months to receive a decision.

The dock is still safe to use so it’s not a top priority for the district, but it is nearing the end of its safe public usage.

Corstanje adds that part of the project spawned from the interest of the Tahltan council. The Stikine River Cafe and Lodge is located in the downtown area of Telegraph Creek, which is an important part of their tourism industry.

“A healthier dock means healthier tourism in the area, and therefore helps brings revenue in for the Tahltan band,” says Corstanje. “Decommissioning it is not really desired right now, so we’re going after some funding.”

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The original dock was built in 1941, renewed a couple of times and then rebuilt in 1985.

Transport Canada later transferred ownership of the dock to the RDKS in 2002 rather than dismantle it as prescribed by a National Ports policy. The district worked with the Tahltan Band through the process and the group decided that RDKS would manage it.

The dock was not damaged in the 2018 wildfires.

Some funds through the Northern Development Initiative Trust have already been secured. The RDKS budget for the project will be adopted at the board meeting in March and will re-assess the costs to decide if further grant requests are required.

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