Province Commits 5 Million Dollars to Gallagher Lake Siphon Repair

The provincial government is stepping up with five million dollars of funding for the Gallagher Lake Siphon Repair in Oliver.

The siphon was damaged in a rock-slide last year, and the town of Oliver has been looking for ways to foot the 10-million dollar repair cost.

MLA Linda Larson was on hand to make the announcement on Wendesday.

"They were able to do a temporary repair with the province's help last year, when we stepped up with $500,000," says Larson. "This year they had done their due diligence, and figured out a way to permanently fix the siphon." 

The siphon is part of a canal system that feeds irrigation water to Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band.

Fred Steele, President of the BC Fruit Growers' Association says, it's good news. 

"Water is vital to especially soft fruit," says Steele. "They got a lot of cherries in that area, peaches, and it's of vital interest to the industry." 

The money is subject to a few conditions; The town must raise the remaining funds, consult with stakeholders, and do both an environmental impact and archaeological review before the project begins.