Engineer Carl Pentilchuk and Houston volunteers discuss logistics for the Irrigation Lake dam construction. Construction started last week Monday and will be done this Thursday or Friday.

Engineer Carl Pentilchuk and Houston volunteers discuss logistics for the Irrigation Lake dam construction. Construction started last week Monday and will be done this Thursday or Friday.

Volunteers build new dam for Irrigation Lake

Engineer grateful for good crew of Houston volunteers, who are "experienced, knowledgeable and very easy to work with."

“The donations and enthusiasm of the people and companies from Houston have allowed us to achieve much better results then anyone expected,” said Steve Page, stakeholder representative for the Irrigation Lake dam project.

Construction of the new Irrigation Lake dam started last week Monday, sourced by donations and volunteers from Houston.

The use of equipment was all donated from Houston businesses, including a compactor from John Himech Logging, an excavator from Andy Meints Contracting, a rock truck from Groot Bros Contracting, bulldozer from Tom Neufeld Trucking,  and a small excavator from Co-ed Enterprises.

The Vanderhoof & Districts Co-op donated 1,000 litres of fuel, Canfor paid for the culvert given at a reduced rate from Armtech in Prince George, and Rough Acres donated the use of water pumps.

“Everything we asked for has been given very quickly and enthusiastically,” said Page. “It’s going very well.”

Volunteer equipment operators from Houston manned the machines Monday to Wednesday last week, putting in long days to make the most of the good weather.

The project was set back slightly due to delays in manufacturing the culvert, so volunteers took a break Wednesday until Tuesday morning, yesterday, when the culvert was in and the project continued.

Engineer Carl Pentilchuk, who designed the new dam plans, was hired to oversee the project with funding from the Bulkley Valley Credit Union. He flew in September 28 from Kamloops at a reduced rate given by Central Mountain Air, lodged in a room donated by the Pleasant Valley Motel and enjoyed donated meals from the Pleasant Valley Restaurant.

Back in Kamloops for the weekend, Pentilchuk flew into Houston again on Tuesday to finish overseeing the work, which is set to be done this Thursday or Friday.

Pentilchuk said the volunteers make “a very good crew.”

“They’re experienced, knowledgeable and very easy to work with,” he said.

“Everyone is interested in getting a first class project. It’s always a pleasure working with people like that.”