Lobby Ottawa for berm funding, province tells county officials
Mountain View County should press Ottawa for funding to complete an earthen berm system for the northern channel of the Red Deer River upstream of Sundre, a provincial cabinet minister advised county officials recently.
Reporting to the policies and priorities committee on a meeting with Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths, deputy reeve Patricia McKean said the county was urged to lobby its MP for the funding, estimated at more than $2.5 million.
Griffiths “realizes the urgency of getting it done and the importance of it,” McKean said, adding that he was in talks with the federal government.
“His comment was that 90 per cent of disaster funding is federal,” CAO Tony Martens told P&P.
“I think we should have a meeting with (Wild Rose MP) Blake Richards immediately and we should do the ask,” Div. 6 Coun. Paddy Munro said.
And at Munro’s urging during last week’s council meeting, Martens said administration will prepare a local improvement tax for council’s consideration next month following council’s summer break.
Last fall, the county completed the critical first phase of the proposed four-kilometre berm at a cost of about $200,000. The first phase was considered the minimum structural protection needed to safeguard against downstream flooding after spring breakup.
McKean also reported that Griffiths “doesn’t necessarily agree” that a business licence for energy companies “would be the answer because everyone would be charged the same amount.” However, the minister “doesn’t want to see municipalities lose the revenue” from the provincial well-drilling tax, set to expire Dec. 31, and is looking for ideas to “come up with a different model,” she said.