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.

Just Posted

Market in Trail, Fall Tea in Rossland

Grapevine: Events in Trail for the week of Oct. 17 to Oct. 23

Kootenay grocer eliminates plastic bags at checkout

Only compostable and recycled trays are now used in the Ferraro Foods meat department

West Kootenay Fishing Report: Cooler weather brings in big bull trout on Kootenay Lake

“Our latest cold snap at the end of the month has triggered some good fishing” - Kerry Reed.

EDITORIAL: Considering the promises

During the election campaign examine how the various parties will fulfill their promises to voters

South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates talk climate change and environment at recent forum

Forum on Tuesday grilled candidates about plan to bring about low carbon emission economy

Election 2019: Helena Konanz – Conservative Party candidate for South Okanagan – West Kootenay

Helena Konanz is running for the Conservative Party in the South Okanagan – West Kootenay riding

Kamloops man hangs on to back of stolen truck as suspect speeds away, crashes

The pickup truck was seen leaving the roadway before bursting into flames

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh returns to Penticton Oct. 19

He is hosting a rally to boost local NDP candidate Richard Cannings’ campaign efforts

Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

Island pharmacist shares concerns, recommendations before flu season hits

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Most Read