By J.W. Schnarr
The provincial government is dragging its feet when it comes to providing disaster relief funding for the areas affected by last year’s floods outside major urban areas.
Municipal District of Taber’s regular council meeting on Sept. 23 revealed that while the M.D. has been applying for disaster funding to help with repairs made following last year’s floods, it has been all quiet on the provincial front.
“We filled out an application for disaster funding in June 2014,” said Derrick Krizsan, municipal administrator. “We submitted it to people in the disaster planning program, about four times, and haven’t even had the courtesy of a response email.”
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the ($500,000 in damages) we incurred,” he added.
Krizsan explained the way the government programs work is that any work undertaken prior to announcement renders the application ineligible. There are a number of repairs awaiting word on provincial funding.
“If we don’t get any funding, we’ll be adding those projects to (the budget) next year,” he added.
Krizsan said he was puzzled by the lack of response from Alberta Municipal Affairs.
“Not sure why nobody will respond to us in an e-mail,” he said. “They are getting them, but it’s radio silence.”
“It might be worth a letter to the minister,” Krizsan added.
Division 4 Coun. Ben Elfring said the issue might simply be that the province is too busy dealing with flooding issues in Calgary to help deal with issues in more rural areas.
“After they’re done with the cities, maybe they’ll look at everyone else,” he said.
“That’s the difference in Calgary, they have a TV camera following them around,” said Deputy Reeve Dwight Tolton.
Elfring then made a motion to send a letter, complete with photos, to Diana McQueen, minister of municipal affairs, requesting a meeting to ask for a response from the ministry. The motion was passed by council.