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Participation encouraged for upcoming Council meeting

Last Updated Jul 26, 2020 at 5:29 pm MDT

IMAGE. RMWB Council votes to reconvene its meeting in public via Zoom videoconference on July 14, 2020. Supplied by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

RMWB Council will hold a special meeting on July 28, 2020.

Among several items, Mayor and Councillors will speak primarily on flood risk.

Mayor Don Scott said it’s essential to hear from residents, in particular those impacted by the 2020 floods.

“I strongly encourage anyone interested to register and participate in this Council meeting as we continue this community conversation. Community resilience is important to all of us, recognizing there are different perspectives on what that means for residents and our neighbourhoods.”

They will discuss a technical report administration drafted titled “Road To Resilience: 2020 Overland Flood Considerations Update”.

The administration tabled development options on flood mitigation.

Executive Summary

The Overland Flood Considerations report includes a summary recapping flood mitigation reports.

These go back to May 1964 with the ‘Flood Protection Proposals for McMurray’ report and the completion of the Snye dike.

To date, all but one of the 15 recorded floods in Fort McMurray related to ice jams.

The Municipality historically spent $150-million on flood mitigation.

“The intent of this document is to frame and consider land development options for areas impacted by overland flooding with a view to reducing disaster risk and increasing community resilience over the long-term.”

Since the July 14 Council Meeting, the administration completed a technical assessment for Longboat Landing.

In its Executive Summary, it proposed continuing the flood mitigation project with limited development below the 250-meter water line.

The administration also recommends enhanced flood provisions in the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) for any new development above that line.

Deputy CAO Matthew Hough said previously the RMWB associates the 250-meters contour interval as the one in 100-year flood event level.

The RMWB evaluated the development options according to the Standards Council fo Canada’s “Risk Management: Principles and Guidelines” report.

Hough introduced the options to Mayor and Councillors at their July 14 meeting.

RELATED: RMWB examines flood mitigation options in technical review

The administration initially proposed full buyouts of all properties in Ptarmigan Court and Draper.

It also provided a similar proposal to Waterways.

The proposal includes a buyout for properties below 250 meters, and flood provisions in the LUB above 250 meters.

Hough said discussions with residents and business owners will continue through the summer.

RELATED: Residents have mixed feelings about potential buyouts

Mayor and Councillors will also review other motions.

Other notes

The Rural Municipalities of Alberta issued a few resolutions for RMWB Council to consider.

The resolutions include advocating for the reinstatement of the Northern Living Allowance for Early Childhood Educators and for continued Federal and Provincial Disaster Support.

RMWB Council will also debate signing a letter of support from the City of Cold Lake for the revoking of Criminal Code Amendments tied to firearm restrictions.

Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said their letter will go to Bill Blair, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, among others.

“The City feels that the federal government’s gun ban will be an expensive exercise that will only serve to take law-abiding people’s property, while doing nothing to reduce crime. Municipalities are the level of government closest to the people, and a large part of our budget and operations is focused on providing safe and healthy communities.”

Copeland said the focus should be on enforcement, data sharing and collaboration, and education.

The federal government’s proposed buyout program could exceed $1-billion in compensation payouts for legally purchased firearms.

Council will meet electronically, according to meeting procedures to suppress COVID-19 outlined in the MGA.

Anyone wishing to speak to a topic before Council has until July 27 at noon to register with Legislative Services at (780) 743-7001.

Residents should also indicate whether they intend to join via teleconference or issue a written submission.

The July 28 meeting begins at 11 a.m.