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RDCK still in talks over diking responsibility

“They got a big sell job ahead of them.”

This is what John Kettle, RDCK board chair, said about the province trying to download responsibility of more than 1,500 dikes throughout the Interior to them, which could potentially cost millions of dollars to maintain.

Since Kettle announced his full-on opposition against taking over the dike administration, he has been in discussion with the province.

The latest came from a group conference in the Lower Mainland last week with rural directors from all across B.C.

Kettle said workers from the Province currently in charge of the dikes in the Interior came down and spoke with more than 100 rural directors about that very issue.

“We were asked from the floor if any of us wanted to accept diking responsibility from the province and everyone said no. It was unanimous,” Kettle said.

Since that cold reception, Kettle said the provincial government will be going into private talks with himself, Area A director Andy Shadrack and CAO Jim Gustafson to try and come to a compromise.

However, at this point, Kettle won’t be budging on the issue.

“This thing takes effect in 2012, so of course we’re going to contest it at UBCM [Union of British Columbia Municipalities – the largest gathering of municipal governments in the province],” he said.

Kettle admits the province hasn’t been pushing them hard, and they’ve been very open and receptive to speaking with them about this issue.

But he still believes it’s the wrong move to make, no matter which way they try and address the issue.

Despite multiple calls and messages put into the province, they did not comment before press deadline.

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