September 22, 2020 Update

After several days of questions, debate, and public feedback, Council voted to complete berms where feasible and directed more research to be done in Draper and Ptarmigan Court. For Waterways, residents will be engaged on the idea of land swaps below 250 metres.

“The actions directed by Council will reduce flood risk in Fort McMurray over the long term,” said Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Matthew Hough. “Work is underway on temporary flood mitigation measures for next spring and on berms for Taiga Nova, downtown, Longboat Landing and Waterways. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Council meeting and look forward to further engaging with property owners in Ptarmigan Court, Waterways and Draper.”

Actions by community

Council met for several hours a day between Tuesday, September 15 and Friday, September 18 to provide the following direction:

  • Taiga Nova: Complete the berm to the 1-in-200-year flood level by October 15, 2021, limit development below 250 metres and introduce enhanced land use provisions above 250 metres.
  • Ptarmigan Court: Conduct one-on-one engagements with residents to determine whether buyouts, funding to raise properties to 250 metres or land swaps would work best.
  • Downtown: Complete the berm to the 1-in-200-year flood level by October 15, 2022, limit development below 250 metres and introduce enhanced land use provisions above 250 metres. Additionally, advocate on behalf of residents to the province and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
  • Waterways: Complete the berm by October 15, 2022, limit development below 250 metres and introduce enhanced land use provisions above 250 metres. Additionally, engage on the idea of land swaps below 250 metres and advocate on behalf of residents to the province and IBC.
  • Draper: Conduct one-on-one engagements to gather information, including property elevation, administration is engaging on other forms of flood mitigation. Additionally, advocate on behalf of residents to the province and IBC.
  • Longboat Landing: Complete the berm to the 1-in-200-year flood level by October 15, 2021, limit land development below 250 metres, and introduce enhanced flood provisions for land use above 250 metres. Additionally, advocate on behalf of residents to the province and IBC.

As well, on the final day of the meeting, Monday, September 21, Council voted to:

  1. Seek further flood mitigation funding from the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada, and report back to Council during the quarterly financial report with a buyout impact assessment, financial report, and updated planning and infrastructure recommendations for communities impacted by the 2020 flood.
  2. Send letters and conduct a strategic advocacy campaign to the federal and provincial governments advocating for assistance with flood mitigation costs and that Administration report back to Council publicly during the quarterly financial reporting, and that the advocacy campaign be funded by any operating surplus or emerging issues.
  3. Actively investigate and pursue the use of equipment, similar to the Amphibex program, and report back to Council with a recommendation by June 2021 on whether or not a pilot project is recommended for the Municipality.
  4. That Administration arrange a meeting within the next 30 days between Council and OSCA to discuss synergies to address the flood mitigation projects to protect the community from future flooding events.
  5. Refund permit fees for work done in the Mandatory Flood Evacuation Zone and purchased after the August 31, 2020 expiration of the Flood Recovery Response Bylaw. The refund is at the request of the applicant.

Council meeting information agenda and information is available at rmwb.ca/council. Flood Recovery information is posted at rmwb.ca/recovery.

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