Columbia Power’s Audrey Repin shakes hands with Jesse Brown at the Nakusp wharf

BC Hydro hands wharf projects off to Columbia Power

Columbia Power Corporation is taking the Nakusp wharf project as well as ones in Edgewood and Anderson Point over from BC Hydro.

Audrey Repin, Director of Stakeholder Relations and Communications for Columbia Power, came to the March 25 Nakusp council meeting to outline what would be happening next with plans to replace the wharf in Nakusp.

Columbia Power Corporation is taking the  Nakusp wharf project as well as ones in Edgewood and Anderson Point over from BC Hydro,  because “ the relationship with the community is key,” according to Repin. Last fall, the sister Crown Corporations agreed that CPC already had many of the necessary relationships in place to get the  projects to completion.

At this point in the projects’ handover, Columbia Power is discovering what commitments BC Hydro made, and what challenges they faced, Repin said. Water levels are the major concern, she said. The lowest annual water levels occur mid-March to mid-April, so this is when CPC is looking to carry out construction in 2013. Right now, CPC is looking at environmental approvals, sourcing materials and pulling tender packages together, the Columbia Power rep told The Arrow Lakes News.

Local fisher Hank Scown is sceptical about the plan. He sees the handover as another sign that Hydro is unwilling to fulfil its commitments.

“It’s clear that Hydro is trying to wash their hands of Nakusp and their responsibility to the valley,” he said. The enormous amount of time that the wharf replacement plans have taken shows they are a “very low priority,” said Scown.

“We have the drawings and plans,” said Repin about the Nakusp wharf. The Columbia Power representative said the corporation will meet with the community and stake holders once everything is ready to go.

“I don’t know Columbia Power,” said Scown, but he wonders if they have the power to get more resources if they are needed to get the job done.

The wharf design for the Edgewood project is still in the conceptual phase at this point.  Repin hopes to have a meeting with community leaders and stake holders in that community to see if the design is workable or if it needs to be changed. She hopes to have the design completed this fall. All three wharfs will be built during the low water period of mid-March to mid-April 2013. Repin is aware that Nakusp has two fishing derbies in the winter, and said the CPC is considering how they can be accommodated.