The City of Williams Lake will be monitoring the river valley embankment after a project to bring an alternative overhead power supply has been removed from the 5-year capital plan.

City Council agreed at Tuesday’s regular meeting to scrap the proposed project due to high costs and excessive impact to the River Valley.

Senior Engineering Technologist, Jeff Bernardy said the City currently uses an overhead powerline to service the wastewater treatment plant located in the River Valley.

“The existing powerline extends from Frizzi Road down a steep embankment…,” he said. “Several years ago in response to landslide activity staff initiated a project to bring an alternative overhead power supply through the river valley as a redundancy measure.”

Although the project was put on hold at the time due to the construction of the trunk sewer, staff have since revisited it to look at options and viability.

Two options were identified that exceeded the City’s original budget of $350,000 allocated from the sewer utility reserve.

An overhead powerline through the river valley would cost $365,000, and although identified as coming with low-risk would result in an excessive visual impact to the recreation corridor. Over 35 poles would be needed to be installed starting at the Comer entrance, installed directly to the recreation trail.

A drilled conduit down the embankment meanwhile would cost the City $425,000 and comes with a high risk of encountering challenges.

Bernardy said the treatment plant is equipped with backup generators that can run indefinitely as needed.

“If the existing line was destroyed, repairs/replacement could be made to the existing line to bring it back into service within approximately 5 to 10 days once the area is deemed safe,” he said.

“Risk is dependent on the severity of landslide damage and the ability of the power contractor to safely access the site.”

Bernardy said should a failure occur and repairs are needed, costs to restore power range from $30,000 to $150,000 plus engineering and contingency. A slope stability review would be needed, and helicopter assistance if needed costs $50,000.