This week Council received a letter from the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) to inform the Municipal District of Bonnyville its application for the province’s Disaster Recovery Assistance Program had been denied.
The M.D. had applied for the program after a number of residents living on the shores of Moose, Crane, Marie, Charlotte, Barreyre and Pinsky lakes were impacted by high water levels. An extremely wet spring and early summer saw water levels rise to historic levels. The precipitation also resulted in overland flooding, road washouts, and bridge damage throughout the municipality.
In the letter dated September 20, Managing Director of AEMA Shane Schreiber wrote that the M.D. did not meet the eligibility requirements for the program.
“The damage appears to have been caused by above-average but not extraordinary levels of precipitation and cannot be connected to a specific extraordinary disaster event,” the letter reads.
M.D. Reeve Ed Rondeau expressed his displeasure with the response and the process of applying for the program. Individuals cannot apply to the program. Instead, the municipality must apply, and, if approved, process the applications of affected residents.
“We are extremely disappointed the province didn’t grant us Disaster Assistance,” he said. “It would have been nice if the people could have applied for disaster assistance themselves. If residents have experienced damage or have concerns, I suggest they send them to AEMA.”
Rondeau also said Council will continue to work on a solution for Moose Lake and other areas.
“We’re still pushing the province to do something with the weir on Moose River and have some kind of control put in place that will protect the water levels in Moose Lake.”