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Council calls for talks with Draper residents due to complex land issues

PHOTO. Draper Road is located south of Waterways, Fort McMurray. MYMCMURRAY/Jenna Hamilton.

Mayor and Councillors spoke on flood mitigation options for Draper on Sept. 17.

Prior to 2020, Draper was not part of the RMWB’s flood mitigation plan due to area limitations.

The administration suggested a motion to buy out all properties under the 250-meter mark at 2020 fair market value until May 31, 2021.

It also added another provision:

The administration said they found there was no consensus for a buyout among Draper’s 187 residents.

Some residents wanted to raise their structures to 250-meters.

As an alternative, property-specific mitigation may cost between $75,000 – $100,000 per property, according to the RMWB.

Councillor Sheila Lalonde and some delegates from the area argued, if there was another flood, waters would funnel toward Draper.

A full buyout of all 64 properties in Draper, including 34 developed, below 250-meters according to 2020 assessed values with reclamation is $48.8-million.

Deputy CAO Matthew Hough said fair market values are unknown at this time.

Appraisers determine values, which must receive approval from RMWB Council.

This includes a $300,000 capital project for a community gathering place.

As a result, the net total including these costs would become $15.7-million.

Delegate David Secord said the height of the Clearwater River in Draper, at the time of the 2020 flood, was 249.8-meters.

The administration said the height of the river in Downtown was 248.9-meters.

Residents also wrote about slope stability concerns in the area.

Council decision

Councillor Sheila Lalonde introduced a motion for the administration to conduct one-on-one talks with Draper residents beneath the 250-meter line.

She indicated a previous motion calls for the administration to conduct a slope stability analysis.

The motion is similar to a previous one for Ptarmigan Court.

RELATED: RMWB to conduct talks with Ptarmigan Court on flood mitigation options

Mayor Don Scott suggest a friendly amendment to remove “buyouts”.

Another amendment from Council asked if they could replace “land swaps”.

RMWB Council passed the motion by a 6 – 1 margin.

To date, the province did not make commitments for land transfer in Parsons Creek or Saline Creek.

Mayor and Councillors will reconvene on Sept. 18 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss Longboat Landing