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RMWB Wildfire Recovery Information

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report.

Council and Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Updates

On Oct. 3, 2016, the Municipality announced the details of its Wildfire Tax Relief program. All residential property tax accounts will automatically be credited. Owners who have paid their 2016 property tax in full can request a refund of the credit amount applied to their tax account.

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Council approved amending the Land Use Bylaw to remove existing requirements for special flood proofing measures for rebuilds of homes in Waterways that were destroyed by the wildfire. Council also approved extending the Wildfire Recovery Overlay to all of Waterways. Council deferred discussion of the Compensation Program for the Owners of Firebreak Properties to October 11, 2016. Lastly, Council approved amending the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Bylaw, shrinking the mandated level of council representation on the WBRC and reducing the compensation for councillors on the Committee.

On October 5, the Municipality published copies of two correspondences between the Government of Alberta and the RMWB. The letters can be viewed at rmwb.ca/ABW.

Programs and Other Initiatives

Residents are reminded that October 31, 2016, is the closure date for the temporary RV park at Abraham’s Land. Tower Road Campground and Lewyk Park Campground are accepting new residents. Any resident who does not have housing secured for after October 31, 2016, is encouraged to call the PULSE Line for assistance.

The Municipality announced the results of the Waterways survey on October 3, 2016. At the close of the survey, 68% of residents chose the “Status Quo” option. A fourth option, buyout, was presented by residents. The Municipality will continue to explore this option to determine what such a program will look like and to fully understand the financial implications of the option.

Wood Buffalo Economic Development is pleased to host – in partnership with various community partners – a number of upcoming events to assist business owners in recovery, including:

  • Ask an Expert, with a focus on accounting – Wednesday, Oct. 12
  • Coffee with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, with a focus on business insurance and business interruption claims – Thursday, Oct. 13
  • Social Media Monday, with a focus on advertising on Facebook – Monday, Oct. 24
  • Ask an Expert, with a focus on accounting – Tuesday, Oct. 25
  • Social Media Monday, with a focus on understanding Facebook analytics – Monday, Oct. 31

A complete list of event offerings can be found at: choosewoodbuffalo.ca/events.

Demolition and Debris Removal

Demolition and debris removal is continuing across the community:

Date Demo Permits Received Demo Permits Approved Demo Inspections Completed Rebuild Permits
Oct. 6 1,704 1,659 701 145
Sept. 29 1,613 1,575 551 108
Sept. 22 1,565 1,526 418 77
Sept. 15 1,506 1,450 319 67
Sept. 8 1,456 1,400 279 53
Sept. 1 1,403 1,333 227 41
Aug. 25 1,270 1,248 197 10
Aug. 18 1,167 1,083 142 6
Aug. 11 1,059 827 N/A 0
Aug. 4 732 419 51 0

 

Here for You: Public Information Sessions

Upcoming engagement opportunities in the community:

  • Today, Oct. 6, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in McMurray Experience at Jubilee Plaza, focusing on general recovery updates. There will be no formal presentations, but residents are encouraged to drop in to discuss their questions.
  • Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The location and topic of this week’s session have yet to be confirmed. An update will be shared as soon as possible.

Residents are reminded that the weekly Telephone Town Hall on Monday evenings has ended. The Municipality is committed to keeping the public informed and will continue to identify new tools to engage residents.

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, Oct. 13, 2016.

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