21 properties identified in the Waterways Slope Stability Assessment will not be rebuilding.
The Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee forwarded the recommendation and on Tuesday night council voted unanimously to proceed with the acquisition and mitigation of the properties at their pre-fire value.
15 lots in Zone 3A, one privately held lot in Zone 4 and five in zone 3 (three on High Avenue and two on Cliff Avenue) will all be acquired due to administrations beliefs of a high-risk movement along the slope.
Councilor Keith McGrath tells Mix News this is the best decision to help property owners move on.
“It gives them some certainty that in the coming weeks they’ll be negotiating the sales of their properties so they can move forward and build somewhere else in the community because the geotechnical report identify a greater risk than people should have to take.”
The cost and mitigation of the 21 properties is estimated to be over $6.5 million.
Many residents were also on hand to voice their concerns about 14 remaining properties not included in the assessment but are in a high-risk zone.
McGrath says the next step is dealing with these properties not included in the Slope Stability Assessment.
“Residents were quite happy with the outcome tonight and now to deal with the evidence based decisions on the next 14. This is just the first stage of the recovery so there’s going to be many issues that come forward. If the fire hadn’t of happened, we’d be dealing with other issues today.”
McGrath adds he’s unsure why the 14 properties weren’t included with the other 21.
“I can tell you that nobody is lost in this process. There being geotechnical evidence that is to be brought forward that will help everybody around this chamber make the right decision for the existing 14 lots.”
He hopes the funding comes from the province as part of the Disaster Relief Fund.
A report will be presented on June 7, regarding the fate of these 14 properties. If approved for buyouts, it would cost the municipality around 10 million dollars.