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Topical issues to re-emerge at RMWB Council meeting

Last Updated Jul 13, 2020 at 8:51 pm MST

PHOTO. RMWB Council chambers inside the Syncrude Athletic Park Clubhouse. A special meeting has been scheduled for March 27, 2020. MYMCMURRAY/Phil Wood

RMWB Council for the 2019-20 session wraps up on July 14, 2020.

Meeting via teleconference, according to public health guidelines, Mayor and Councillors will hear several presentations.

Recovery strategies

Deputy CAO Matthew Hough will present findings from the 2020 Overland Flood Survey.

RELATED: Flood Mitigation Program update expected Tuesday

Hough said he hopes to hold more discussions with residents and business owners over the summer.

If approved, the Municipality will schedule a Special Council Meeting to consider the proposed options in the report.

These include the development of flood provisions of more than 250 metres and full or partial buyouts in Ptarmigan Court, Waterways, and Draper.

“Natural disasters are increasing in both frequency and severity, resulting in escalating disaster recovery costs. Between 1970 and 2014, Alberta has received $2.3 billion in federal Disaster Funding Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), which is conveyed to local authorities through the Province’s Disaster Recovery Program (DRP).”

The administration found costs average $54-million per year from 1970 to 1994, $291-million from 1995 to 2004, $410-million from 2005-2014.

It added those figures do not account for the 2016 wildfire or the 2020 floods, which occurred throughout Alberta.

Kevin Weidlich, President and CEO of the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation (WBEDC), returns to Council as well.

As Chair of the region’s Business Recovery Task Force, he presented the group’s final report on June 23.

RELATED: Council debates next steps post-pandemic, floods

WBEDC submitted funding applications to the Government of Alberta and Western Economic Diversification on July 2.

If approved, the funds would aid in the immediate, short-term, and long-term phases outlined in the final report.

Weidlich will ask the Mayor and Councillors for a letter of support from the RMWB.

The letter would reach various levels of government advocating for the funds for business recovery in the region.

New business

Rotary Club of Fort McMurray makes its presentation to Council.

RMWB Council previously voted to reject a grant application of $3,488,115 to complete and help operate the RotaryLinks golf course.

RELATED: Council rejects RotaryLinks grant application

Since that meeting, the Rotary Club held preliminary meetings with the administration using updated budget projections.

Incoming President Paul Spring will present a proposal to the Mayor and Councillors.

The new ask is for $2.7-million to complete the nine holes, but RMWB Council must first vote to refer the group’s funding request to the administration for review.

The Centre of Hope will also feature in the July 14 Council meeting.

RMWB Council will debate a motion to approve a Community Capital Grant application from the Centre of Hope’s Non-Profit Society.

If approved, the $116,733 would go toward improving leaseholds at Marshall House.

According to the Community Investment Program Policy, the capital project may receive up to 50 per cent of its total cost.

“The project will provide a safe and secure environment for some of the Region’s most chronic and vulnerable population, allowing them to access basic needs and engage services uniquely designed to support individuals with complex barriers.”

The total cost of the project is $233,466.

RMWB Council will also decide on allocating $40,000 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations to the Centre’s Non-Profit Society.

If approved, these funds would provide dedicated space for physical distancing at Marshall House.

RMWB Council meets on July 14, 2020, at 4 p.m.