The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report.
Council and Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Updates
- Council approved recommendations by the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) to make the development of a regional-level alternate egress and emergency evacuation route (to be termed “East Clearwater Highway”) its highest priority mitigation requirement. It also allocated $5 million in the Proposed 2017 Budget as the Municipality’s contribution to the overall pre-design costs for the proposed East Clearwater Highway, subject to a commitment from the GOA on the remainder of the pre-design costs.
- As part of the Committee’s wildfire mitigation strategy, the Municipality will also support the GOA’s comprehensive FireSmart plan. Additionally, it will pursue GOA backing to fund a provincial/municipal collaboration to establishing and training a permanent WUI (Wildfire Urban Interface) Fire Crew.
- Mayor Blake, municipal councillors and members of the Wood Buffalo recovery team joined Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on Oct. 26 to tour some of the rebuilding efforts in the Wood Buffalo neighbourhood. Notley announced the King Street overpass will be renamed “Responders Way Bridge” to permanently honour and recognize the service of first responders during the wildfire
Programs and Other Initiatives
On Oct. 24, Wood Buffalo Economic Development (WBED) and Wood Buffalo Tourism announced plans for a Home Builder Expo to be held Nov. 25-27. The three-day trade show connects people building or renovating their home or property with the local build community and is being held alongside the 2016 Fort McMurray Tourism Christmas Show and Market, held at Suncor Community Leisure Centre. Registration is open for local contractors until November 9. Register at www.ChooseWoodBuffalo.ca.
On Oct. 19, the Canadian Red Cross and WBED launched the Small Business Support programs, including the RMWB’s Small Business Workforce Support Program and the Red Cross’ Phase 2 Support to Small Business Program. Since launching the programs, 1,044 applications have been started, 257 callers have been assisted and 88 business owners have been helped in-person at the Back to Business Resource Centre (BBRC) at 9816 Hardin Street.
Residents can apply for both programs using one online application, available at www.YMMSmallBizRecovery.ca. For more information, please call the Helpline at 1-855-RMWB-BIZ.
Starting Oct. 31, ADRA has given FMPSD/FMCSD school districts new outerwear to be shared at each school. Parents in need of winter clothing for their children can contact their local school principal. Each school district has a Mental Health Coordinator who is helping families find the resources that they need through their school principal. Families can select items that they need at each location, and schools can access more clothing when they run out.
Demolition and Debris Removal
Demolition and debris removal is continuing across the community:
||Demo Permits Received
||Demo Permits Approved
||Demo Inspections Completed
Here for You: Public Information Sessions
Upcoming engagement opportunities in the community:
- Today, Oct. 27, 2016, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Shell Place at MacDonald Island Park, providing information on Small Business Support and the Birchwood Trails FireSmart Project. The formal presentation will be livestreamed on the Municipality’s Facebook page. Residents will be able to ask questions through the Facebook stream comment section, to be incorporated into the in-person Q&A portion of the presentation.
- Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., the Golden Year’s Society (10111 Main Street) will play host to a presentation from the Insurance Bureau of Canada as well as hear the latest updates from the Wildfire Recovery team.
- This Saturday, Oct. 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Doug Barnes Cabin will host a session delivering information on the Birchwood Trails FireSmart Project.
- Here for You is supporting the YMM Christmas Ornament distribution event Nov. 2-4 at Shell Place, with volunteers as well staffing a table providing information to the public on the latest Wildfire Recovery updates.
As temperatures fall and snow forecasts draw closer, the Municipality will be reactivating Winter Maintenance Zones in all areas of Fort McMurray. Residents are reminded to check their zones and be prepared to move their vehicles in advance of snowplowing. For more information, go to rmwb.ca/WMZ.
A further Progress Report will be issued on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016.