Grand Forks Gazette file photo

Grand Forks seeks more money for flood buyouts

“There’s no harm in asking again, and again and again,” said Coun. Neil Krog.

Grand Forks City Council voted Monday to go back to the federal and provincial governments to ask for more money to put towards buying out flood-affected properties in North Ruckle, after residents pushed back after learning that they would be paid at a 2019 valuation for their homes, many of which have lost tens of thousands in value through flood damage.

The unanimous vote to write letters to the appropriate ministries and arrange a meeting with Mike Farnworth, the B.C. minister of public safety in September comes after residents have repeatedly insisted that the Grand Forks buyout case is a first in the province and thus ought to set the example for future buyout events in B.C.

“The concern of course within that community is not only them and their financial bottom line,” said Coun. Chris Moslin, who suggested the idea to his colleagues, “but also the setting of a precedent that would perhaps further protect homeowners facing a disaster.”

“There’s no harm in asking again, and again and again,” said Coun. Neil Krog, endorsing the idea.

Until now, city staff had said that the federal government’s granting policy for disaster buyouts only covers post-event prices. However, other provinces have been able to supplement those payments to offer pre-flood values.

In New Brunswick after last May’s flooding, the province offered buyouts “in cases where structural damages exceed 80 per cent of the appraised value of the property,” according to the City of Saint John. Buyout values are being based on “fair market value based on a pre-event real estate appraisal,” or a recent property tax assessment.

Quebec set a cap at $200,000 in a voluntary buyout program for Gatineau-area residents who experienced two massive floods in the space of three years.

Property appraisals are scheduled to be done this fall for properties in the mandatory buyout area in North Ruckle.

In the meantime, residents and city staff have held meetings to discuss other ways that the city can ease the financial burden of having to leave the neighbourhood and find suitable homes elsewhere.

At a committee-of-the-whole meeting Monday, flood recovery manager Graham Watt said that one quarter of applicants for the 19th Street affordable housing units indicated that they were flood-affected individuals.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Rosslanders celebrate Canada Day in style

Locals organized a museum scavenger hunt, a Mt. Roberts flag-raising ceremony and evening fireworks

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre expands operations online

The facility also opened back up to the public earlier in June

Rossland’s Sourdough Alley a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

Rossland’s earliest thoroughfare was once derided as a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read