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RMWB Gets $20 Million Going Towards Disaster Relief Recovery Program

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
RMWB Gets $20 Million Going Towards Disaster Relief Recovery Program

Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson announcing $20 million funding towards Disaster Relief Program // Jaryn Vecchio - Harvard Broadcasting

The RMWB is once again getting a sizeable donation from the Provincial Government.

Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson announced on Thursday that $20 million is being added to the region’s disaster recovery program funding aimed at helping with uninsurable costs. This accounts for cleanup of the damaged areas as well as repairs to public infrastructure.

Mayor Melissa Blake says more money will be needed for future expenses and because of that, they’re taking out a loan.

“We had subscribed to get a $50 million revolving loan, a line of credit, so that when we’re falling short on our ability to repay we can call on that loan.”

She notes the money will go towards projects and expenses that focus mostly on the municipal side of the recovery.

“Firefighting response is a big part of the disaster relief portion so, with the initial investment of the $87.5 million, it was covering off that event in the month-long period that we went through,” added Blake.

The province sent the $87.5 million back in 2016 allowing the municipality to move forward without bringing a heavy financial burden.

shaye-andersonBefore the announcement at the provincial building, Anderson took a tour of a home being rebuilt in Abasand. The homeowner, Steve Menard, is rebuilding the house with his stepson.

Menard told the Minister the hardship he’s gone through and the hidden messages he’s been spotting throughout his construction. Among his floor is a piece of wood in the shape of a heart, a spot his granddaughter says no one can step on.

Menard tells Mix News having a chance to tell his story to Anderson was, to him, a special time.

“The fact that he wanted to come down and actually meet me and see what I was trying to accomplish was a totally different scenario, it was wonderful to have him come.”

Menard adds he hopes to have the home completed by July 1, to honour the passing of his father who died on that day a few years earlier.

The Minister says he was touched to see firsthand the work being done and the impact the wildfire has had on many here in Fort McMurray.

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