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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 Tuesday, Sept. 13, Council voted unanimously in favour of Coun. Sheldon Germain’s motion to review fees on development and building permits, and asked that administration provide a review of recommendations for possible fee amendments no later than September 27, 2016. Also at the meeting, Coun. Keith McGrath served notice of motion on the cost of surveys for destroyed properties, to be considered at Council’s next meeting on Sept. 20.

At the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) meeting last night, the Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force presented the Wildfire Recovery Campaign Plan a long-term community recovery framework that establishes a roadmap for the delivery of the Municipality’s recovery efforts. It allows the Municipality and the community to have an open, common understanding of collective recovery goals and how we will achieve success.

It was noted during the WBRC meeting that the work of recovery has been ongoing since well before June 1 re-entry and will continue to happen. The WBRC and Task Force understands that the plan will only be successful through continual engagement with residents, partners and stakeholders and will adapt over time to meet the needs of residents.

Programs and Other Initiatives

Wood Buffalo Economic Development, in partnership with the Government of Alberta, announced yesterday a Back to Business Coaching Program. The free program is dedicated to setting up local businesses for success. Businesses must meet the following to be eligible for the program:

  • Participant to be at least a 50-per-cent owner of the business. The owner also has the option to designate a staff member on their behalf.
  • Operating within the region prior to May 3, 2016.
  • Currently located or headquartered within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Several weeks ago, the Government of Alberta announced its plan for interim housing for displaced residents in Wood Buffalo. Up to 65 three- and four-bedroom pet-friendly interim housing units will be brought to Fort McMurray in October 2016. A demonstration model has been set up by the Wood Buffalo Housing & Development Corporation and available for viewing, located at the Youth Assessment Centre at 180 Mackenzie Boulevard. The model is open seven days a week from 12 noon to 7 p.m. for residents to visit. Residents can apply in person or by calling Wood Buffalo Housing & Development Corporation at 780-743-4140, or emailing christal@wbhadc.ca. Applications are available on the Alberta Government website. Staff are available to assist with the application process.

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
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

Residents are reminded of upcoming engagement opportunities in the community:

  • Today, Sept. 15, 2016, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Shell Place at MacDonald Island Park, focusing on permits and next steps. The Municipality will host formal presentations at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. The 4:30 p.m. 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.
  • Sept. 22, 2016, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Shell Place at MacDonald Island Park, with a focus on recovery for the uninsured and underinsured. Representatives from various social profits will deliver informal updates on programs and services available.

In an ongoing effort to bring information to residents and to gather feedback on recovery, the Municipality will be staffing a "Here for You" booth at the Fort McMurray Tourism Fall Trade Show, held at MacDonald Island Park from Friday, Sept. 23, to Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. In addition, Jeanette Bancarz, Chair of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee, will present a general recovery update at an ‘Ask an Expert’ session, from 11 a.m. to noon, on both Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, and Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016.

A further Progress Report will be issued on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016.

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