Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) officials will hold a small ceremony in Fairmont Hot Springs next week to mark the completion of the first phase of the Fairmont Creek debris flow mitigation project.

The ribbon cutting will happen at the pedestrian bridge on the 12th hole of Fairmont’s Mountainside golf course on Monday, October 5th at 1 p.m.

“The community has been very supportive of this phase of the project, there were financial contributions from Mountainside Vacation Villas, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Fairmont Community Association, Fairmont Business Association and the Fairmont Lions Club. It is great to see this project completed and the communities’ support,” said RDEK Area F director Wendy Booth.

The aim of this initial stage of the mitigation project was to increase the capacity of the Fairmont Creek channel to make it better able to contain debris flow materiel should a debris flow similar to the one that hit Fairmont in 2012 ever occur again.

The first stage focused on the section of Fairmont Creek stretching through the Mountainside golf course between Marble Canyon and the pond at the 12th hole.

The work involved shifting a section of Fairmont Creek slightly to move it further away from buildings, while at the same time widening it and armouring it with rip rap, which will help contain and direct material during a debris flow event.

In addition, berms were built up on the side of channel. Local company Max Helmer Construction Ltd. began the work in May and had most of it finished that month.

The next phases of the project will see work done further upstream on Fairmont Creek.

A recent application by the RDEK to the New Building Canada Fund for funding for the second phase of the project was unsuccessful, but the RDEK is vowing to continue its efforts to find other funding avenues.