Disaster-related expenses to be less than anticipated

The District of Sicamous is budgeting for $1 million for expenses related to flooding, though the actual bill should be substantially less.

The District of Sicamous is budgeting for $1 million for expenses related to flooding, though the actual bill should be substantially less.

Council has approved an amendment to the district’s financial plan to reflect the estimated total cost of response and recovery, $1 million, related to the Two Mile Creek debris flow and subsequent flooding from Mara and Shuswap lakes. As district financial services director Ruth Walper explained, however, the $1 million is not representative of the final cost that will be borne by the district. She said that will be closer to $245,000, offset by insurance claims and Disaster Financial Assistance Funding (DFA) through Emergency Management B.C.

“If we do not have money in our budget, representing the cost, it’s considered an illegal expenditure and the officers of the corporation are responsible for that until council determine that it should be in the budget,” Walper explained.

The provision of potable water, totalling about $150,000 is one of the expenses the district is expected to cover. Walper said district claims for DFA funding for this cost have been turned down by Emergency Management B.C. Mayor Darrell Trouton said the district plans to appeal.

Other anticipated costs facing the district are the restoration of the road to the landfill, as well as Mervyn Road. Staff is estimating these will be another $150,000 total.

Walper also noted that not all claims have been submitted, due in part to staffing issues with the Shuwap Emergency Program. She said SEP staff are now dedicated to get claims processed by the end of 2012.

“It’s not just the District of Sicamous, it’s also the City of Salmon Arm as well as the electoral areas that were affected by the flooding,” said Walper. “So there’s a considerable amount of work being processed through SEP. We were able to get some funding to cover an employee to assist for a month on getting our claims to SEP.”

 

Council expressed relief that the district wouldn’t be on the hook for the whole $1 million. As for the $245,000, Walper said the district has $20,000 budgeted for disaster expenses. Staff will be looking to capital works projects for additional funding, including a $160,000 public works project planned for the road heading north from Solsqua bridge, which was put on hold in anticipation of disaster-related expenses.