RMWB Aiming To Have Draper Grant Program Developed Soon, Letter Being Sent Outlining Concerns Over DRP Changes

The municipality is hoping to have a grant program up and running for Draper property owners in the near future.

Wood Buffalo council met on Tuesday where they were given an update on work in the area, Ptarmigan Court, and ahead of this year’s river breakup.

Through the program, property owners would receive funds to help them protect their lots from future flooding. The main use would help raise properties to the 251 metre mark.

Discussions have been ongoing since late last year on the program, however, the RMWB has been waiting for the results of a land survey down which recently just finished.

“Every home in Draper is completely different, so the creation of a grant program is far more complex when looking at it, even through a servicing or utility perspective,” said Brad McMurdo, Director of Planning and Development.

Council heard from one Draper resident who expressed an issue with the timing of the program and the little being done to currently protect the area from flooding.

Property owners are being encouraged to take part in the sandbag program, while work has been ongoing on a permanent berm.

RMWB Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Matthew Hough says their focus in the area has been mainly on the grant program.

“The large-scale protection, both extremely complex and costly, was not something we believed to be feasible at this time.”

Concern Over DRP Changes

A letter will be sent to the provincial government expressing the concerns the municipality has about the changes to the disaster recovery program.

Moving forward, property owners will receive financial assistance of up to $500,000 per application with the province also limiting assistance to once per property.

People won’t be eligible for the program if they move into a property that already received financial assistance.

Mayor Scott brought the idea forward claiming these changes will only hurt the region.

“We need to push back and say this is not something we find acceptable.”

The letter will be addressed to Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver, local MLA’s Tany Yao and Laila Goodridge, as well as the representatives with the federal government.

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