A District of Houston objective to modernize Bymac Park is back on the table.
And this time the objective comes with $216,000, the proceeds from the sale of commercially viable wood to Canfor from trees logged in and near the park earlier this year.
Whether that will be sufficient remains to be seen but a list of what could be done and what the cost might be is now being carried out by consultants.
“At this time, staff are working with [consultants] Urban Systems to prepare a conceptual design for campground upgrades, a detailed design for the replacement boat launch, an economic impact study for campground expansion and site improvements, and working through preliminary permit applications and referrals to Wet’suwet’en communities and the Office of the Wet’suwet’en given that the campground is within the traditional territory of the Wet’suwet’en people,” said District of Houston chief adminstrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.
The logging in and around Bymac is part of the multi-year effort of clearing of wood primarily west of the community so as to prevent or dampen the prospect of a wildfire sweeping in.
Pinchbeck said the money is separate from other revenues received from other areas logged as part of a seven-kilometre firebreak project area but does form an overall part of what the District is calling a financial legacy.
The approval to use the Bymac logging revenues for park improvements came from council when it met July 6.
Council last considered improvements to the park in 2019 when it hoped to develop a new boat launch area replacing the current one which silts up regularly and needs dredging.
But it shelved the prospect of a new boat launch when faced with a cost then of approximately $260,000, a figure out of the District’s financial reach.
Park users and provincial officials have complained about the boat launch, adding that some boaters are putting their vessels into the river at non-official areas.
Removing silt every two years to keep the current boat launch viable carries with it an estimated $10,000 cost.
But while the District works on concept plans for the park, including a new boat launch area, it now wants to move ahead with a dredging project.
“The District has submitted permit applications to dredge the existing boat launch, and Public Works will be working towards implementing a work program to dredge the existing boat launch prior to the salmon runs,” said Pinchbeck.
The District in the past has sketched out plans to expand the Bymack campground from 10 to 25 sites equipped with potable water and power hook ups.
Together with a relocated boat launch, the overall vision is to regard Bymac improvements as an economic driver for the community.