As recovery continues in the affected areas of Wood Buffalo, a new Progress Report is available to the public.
On Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, a new recovery program was announced for small businesses in the region. The Municipality is offering $15 million of emergency relief funding for business in the region to help with wage assistance. The Government of Alberta and the Canadian Red Cross have committed to providing additional funding, which will provide up to $20,000 per small business applicant to cover recovery costs, including new equipment, property damage and cleanup. For more information on these programs, go to redcross.ca/AlbertaFiresBusiness and choosewoodbuffalo.ca.
The deadline to register for Emergency Relief Funding through the Wood Buffalo Business Hotline is Aug. 12, 2016. Business owners can call 1-855-769-2249 to register.
On Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, the Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force submitted a revised Green Homes Plan to the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH). The Plan includes a robust safety mitigation plan to allow the re-occupation of clusters of standing homes (“green homes”) in Abasand and Beacon Hill. The “green homes” in these areas have been divided into a first and second phase, with the first phase being those homes which are farther away from the debris field. The CMOH is expected to take five to seven days to review the Plan and provide feedback.
“We are confident that the Green Homes Plan shows the extensive risk mitigation steps that have been put in place in Abasand and Beacon Hill,” said Erin O’Neill, Recovery Branch Lead. “With further input from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we hope to be able to bring more of our displaced residents home.”
A decision has not yet been made on the re-occupation and rebuilding of Waterways. Officials from the Municipality and Government of Alberta are performing a deeper study of the measures required to protect Waterways against flooding events. When more information is available about rebuilding efforts in Waterways, an update will be shared with the public.
Following consultation with resident groups in Fort McMurray, the Municipality is working on a broad public engagement strategy for further outreach to residents. These engagements will be an opportunity to meet with recovery experts and Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) members to discuss the issues that matter to residents. Engagements will be planned for residents of all affected areas across the region.
Demolition and debris removal is continuing, with 1,059 Demolition Permit applications received and 827 applications approved.
Municipal Safety Codes Officers continue to patrol demolition sites to maintain the safety of residents in the area. Since the Aug. 4 Progress Report, two stop work orders have been issued to contractors who were not abiding by the terms of the Demolition Permit.
A further Progress Report will be issued on Thursday, Aug. 18.