The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has approved a number of motions to support flood recovery and reconstruction activities.
“We are going to do everything we can to support impacted residents and businesses in recovery from this historic flood,” said Don Scott, mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “The flood’s impact on our neighbourhoods, homes, businesses, and families is heartbreaking.”
“While our community spirit is as strong and inspiring as ever, we are seeking support from the Government of Alberta through the Disaster Recovery Program (DRP), as well as the Government of Canada to help our residents during their time of need,” Scott added. “If there’s a community that can overcome challenges it is this one and in order for that to happen we need everyone working together to support our neighbours that are impacted.”
2020 Flood Response Bylaw (Bylaw No. 20/014)
On May 6, 2020, Council passed the 2020 Flood Recovery Bylaw (Bylaw No. 20/014), which will:
- Temporarily waive all community development and safety code permitted fees for all residents.
- Temporarily waive all disposal fees at the municipal landfill.
- Temporarily waive residential solid waste collection and recycling fees for residents in flood-affected areas until August 31, 2020.
- Temporarily waive non-residential (commercial) solid waste collection and recycling fees for those in flood-affected areas until June 30, 2020.
Temporarily suspend provisions in the Noise Bylaw (No. 83/024) to allow for Flood Recovery noise caused by, or arising from, any remediation or reconstruction activities in flood-impacted areas.
Under the State of Local Emergency declared on April 26, 2020 for the April 2020 Flood, all community development and safety code permitting fees and disposal fees at the municipal landfill were waived to help support recovery and remediation efforts. This new Bylaw passed by Council on Wednesday formally allows for these fees to continue to be waived.
Other Flood Recovery Support
Public dumpsters are not available in neighbourhoods. For those with an abundance of items to dispose of, free Bagsters are available. Residents can arrange to have a Bagster delivered to their home by calling Pulse 780-743-7000.
On May 6, Council also voted to approve three additional motions to support flood recovery, remediation, and reconstruction efforts.
The first motion directs the Mayor, on behalf of Council, to send three letters, as follows:
- One to the Premier of Alberta and the Minister of Municipal Affairs requesting that the Disaster Relief Program (DRP) be instated on an urgent basis for the residents and businesses of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), who were impacted by the April 2020 Flood.
- One to the Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada to request a robust financial relief program be instituted by the federal government.
- An additional letter to the Minister of Public Safety Canada and Emergency Preparedness Canada to request financial assistance to assist with the outstanding flood mitigation program in the RMWB.
DRP funding must be approved by the Cabinet of the Government of Alberta. This motion formalizes the Municipality’s request for DRP funding to be urgently provided.
The Municipality will fund items with the intent to seek reimbursement through the Alberta Disaster Recovery Program for:
- Resident costs associated with the towing of vehicles as a direct result of the 2020 River Break Up Flood.
- Costs associated with reimbursing residents for food and accommodations who were evacuated but did not register at the onset of the evacuation but have since registered with the Canadian Red Cross. This reimbursement will be the same as the costs covered by the Municipality for evacuees that registered and stayed in emergency accommodations.
Additional details on how to apply for reimbursement will be announced.
The third motion approved directs Administration to issue amendments to the Land Use Bylaw and the Fees, Rates, and Charges Bylaw to enact the following:
- Temporarily relax parking restrictions to allow residents impacted by the flood the opportunity to park and stay in recreational vehicles/campers on their property until remediation activities are complete or until August 31, 2020, which ever date occurs first.
- Require any applications for business licenses for work arising from the State of Local Emergency (SOLE) for the April 2020 Flood to have an RMWB address for at least 90 days prior to the SOLE being called to be considered a local business, if legally permitted to do so.
- Reduce water billing fees for homes impacted by the current Alberta Health Services Boil Water Advisory as a result of the April 2020 Flood for the duration of the advisory. Additional details on the reduction will be shared in the days ahead.
More information about RMWB’s flood recovery efforts is available here.