West Nipissing council wants province to reconsider flooding relief request after it rejected the municipality’s application
What the launch at Minnehaha Bay looked like during the 2019 spring flooding. (Drew Ferris, MyWestNipissingNow.com staff)
West Nipissing council is not giving up on getting funding relief from the Ford government following last year’s spring flooding.
The municipality was told a little while back that although it declared a State of Emergency last year when properties and roads were flooded, it did not meet the threshold of $500,000 for what it spent during the flooding.
Council wants the province to reconsider its decision and will make its case at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference in Toronto on January 19th.
Mayor Joanne Savage says the municipality kept residents of West Nipissing safe when the Sturgeon River and Lake Nipissing overflowed their banks.
She says the municipality didn’t debate whether a road was owned by the municipality or not, it simply stepped up to the plate and provided the services that kept people safe.
The January 19th meeting will be with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
Chief Administration Officer Jay Barbeau suggested that council should have a strategy in place before heading into that meeting.
One suggestion from Barbeau was perhaps the province’s funding formula could be graduated.
He said that means even though the threshold to qualify for provincial aid is half a million dollars, a municipality would get some compensation if it spent close to the threshold amount.
Barbeau expressed some frustration saying that under the present formula, had the municipality incurred just a little more damage to get to the $500,000 mark then there would be no issue getting provincial aid.
In a letter to the government officials, West Nipissing says not getting any money from the province while the municipality was under a State of Emergency has placed a significant tax burden on local residents.