Town en­lists Se­na­tor Grant Mitchell’s sup­port

Town looks to feds for flood mit­i­ga­tion fund­ing

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - To make your voice heard, send emails to Min­is­ter of In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­porta­tion, Hon­or­able Brian Ma­son in­fra­struc­ture. min­is­ter@ gov. ab. ca; cc to MLA Strankman drumheller.stet­tler@as­sem­bly.ab.ca Krystin McHugh

Mayor Terry Ye­men and CAO Ray Ro­manetz met with Se­na­tor Grant Mitchell and gained his sup­port in re­gard to Drumheller’s flood mit­i­ga­tion.

Pre­vi­ously, the Prov­ince of Al­berta ap­proved Drumheller for 90% of the funds needed to move flood mit­i­ga­tion for­ward through the Al­berta Com­mu­nity Re­silience Pro­gram (ACRP) for a $3 mil­lion project. This left the ad­di­tional 10% for the town to cover.

When meet­ing with Se­na­tor Mitchell in Novem­ber he was able to help nav­i­gate the path to ap­pro­pri­ate Fed­eral de­part­ments for other po­ten­tial grants to off­set costs for flood mit­i­ga­tion not cov­ered by the al­ready ap­proved grant through ACRP.

Mayor Ye­men said, “Se­na­tor Mitchell has been a very valu­able as­set to us. We’ve met with him and he’s had doors open up for us. We’ve re­ceived calls made by Ot­tawa to Drumheller say­ing, ‘ We un­der­stand you need some help. How can we help?’ That’s all be­cause of Se­na­tor Mitchell.”

Mayor Ye­men and CAO Ro­manetz have been ad­vised through dis­cus­sion with the Hon­or­able Amar­jeet Sohi, Fed­eral Min­is­ter of In­fra­struc­ture and Com­mu­ni­ties and his Ex­ec­u­tive As­sis­tant, Mike Bur­ton, there may be grant money avail­able for all the flood mit­i­ga­tion projects un­der the Fed­eral Clean Wa­ter and Waste­water Fund. This would help off­set 50% of the project by Fed­eral con­tri­bu­tion, leav­ing only 50% in­stead of the ini­tial 90% to the pro­vin­cial govern­ment. Ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter Sohi the fund­ing can­not be ap­proved with­out en­dorse­ment from Al­berta In­fra­struc­ture.

“There is lim­ited fund­ing in Ot­tawa and so tim­ing is cru­cial.” Mayor Ye­men said, “All the prov­ince has to do is bless the project then we can move it for­ward. There’s still a process in Ot­tawa where they have to look at the project and agree it fits the cri­te­ria. We need the prov­ince’s ap­proval be­fore we can ap­ply.”

Mayor Ye­men has al­ready been in con­tact with MLA Rick Strankman to help push the prov­ince for­ward on the Pro­vin­cial level.

Mayor Ye­men said, “Yes he is will­ing to put a let­ter of sup­port to the prov­ince but I said we need more than just a let­ter. We need some­one to go and knock on the Min­is­ter’s door and have a face to face. He needs to ex­plain the value of this pro­gram so we can move it for­ward in a timely man­ner.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mayor Ye­men there is an­other con­fer­ence call sched­uled for the end of the week with Se­na­tor Mitch- ell re­gard­ing flood mit­i­ga­tion. With sup­port in place on the Fed­eral level, the project needs to be pushed through the Pro­vin­cial govern­ment for ap­proval.

“This is a com­mu­nity thing. Yes, the Town is spear­head­ing it but the more num­bers and sup­port we get the bet­ter it is. We un­der­stand there is this fund­ing avail­able and we just need the prov­ince to ur­gently re­view this and give the town ap­proval so that we can move for­ward and make an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Fed­eral govern­ment.” Mayor Ye­men said, “There’s strength in num­bers. I would like to see the com­mu­nity rally be­hind this and tell the prov­ince to get this done fi­nally.”

Se­na­tor Grant Mitchell helps nav­i­gate the path to ap­pro­pri­ate Fed­eral fund­ing for grants to off­set flood mit­i­ga­tion costs.

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