As many as 100 homes could be receiving flood-related buyouts after a landmark City of Grand Forks council decision made public Tuesday night. The estimated dollar figure of the set of decisions put forward by council on Tuesday is in the range of $60-million.
These decisions apply only to homes within city limits and not to homes in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. The RDKB board is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks.
Aside from buyouts, the proposal includes the construction of three new dikes and armouring “kilometres” of riverbank.
The recommendations are based on a river study, known as a hydrological survey, prepared by Dobson Engineering. Council considered the options in a series of in camera meetings, as well as a workshop. The final decision was made in camera Tuesday afternoon, and made public during the regular meeting of council Tuesday night.
Any and all buyouts and flood protection measures are contingent on provincial approval and funding. Council made these decisions in order to put forward an “ask,” to the province with a dollar figure attached, several councillors said.
That figure is estimated at around $60-million, but that is not set in stone: that figure is plus/minus 50 per cent, as it is still an estimate that will be confirmed with detailed engineering study for infrastructure.
The number put forward on Monday is a rough estimate that takes into account every contingency. With further detailed engineering studies, that number is expected to be narrowed down to within 15 per cent of total project costs.
Members of council have previously stated that council has advocated for buyouts to come at the pre-flood market value of the home.
The city would bear little of those costs; the majority of funds would come from provincial and federal partnerships. The proposal has now gone forward to the provincial government, where it will either be approved or amended.
The specifics of the buyout programwill be finalized in the next year.
The overall project implementation will take the next four years, according to the flood recovery team.