The chair of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Jeanette Bancarz and Councillor Keith McGrath were on Fort McMurray Matters to talk about what some of the future plans are for the committee.
Bancarz is hoping to build stronger communications between the committee and residents seeing many in the region starting to get frustrated with the lack of information.
“Perhaps we haven’t done a good enough job communicating all that has been done but I believe the community will definitely appreciate going forward as we engage more,” she said.
She adds that it’s important to them that the community knows what they have done and what they’re planning on doing.
One of the tasks is trying to get as many basements in the region as possible. Councillor McGRath says a couple houses in Stone Creek and Wood Buffalo have already been demoed with building permits all ready ordered.
A lot of staff will be needed to conduct all the demolitions and get permits that the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is expecting.
“As far as building codes go and building permits, that’s a process, we’re bringing in extra staff with the help of the Alberta Government and the help of other municipality’s, we’re bringing people as we need them,” said McGrath.
As of Monday morning, August 8th, 1,000 demolition permits were submitted with 760 of those being approved so far.
Their efforts are being used across the region but a big focus is on Abasand and Beacon Hill. The hope is to have residents back in these areas as soon as possible.
“We’re working shoulder to shoulder with the Alberta Government and the CMO (chief medical officer of health) is examining our last submission to allow our residents to come back,” said McGrath who says their are some who don’t want to move back as of right now. “The other side of that is people are saying I don’t want to back home yet until the demos cleaned up, so everyone has a different case of insurance.”
Bancarz says anyone with problems with their insurance companies should go to the Future Forward Building to speak with a representative of the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
The next scheduled meeting of the WBRC is set for August 17th at 6 p.m.