FAQ – Status of buyouts in the Ruckle Addition area

Many questions have been submitted to the City regarding the status of buyouts in the Ruckle Addition area.  City Council and Staff have heard the questions and concerns and are committed to providing information as it becomes available.

 

This is a complex process, and there are many pieces still being defined.  Some questions do not have clear answers yet, as some steps in the project planning are still in various stages of progress.

 

Several property owners have requested independent mediation be included as part of the land valuation and agreement process. We hear this is important so property owners can feel satisfied that their agreement is as fair and impartial as possible. In our Request for Proposals for Land Acquisition and Design Support, we have specifically recognized mediation as part of the approach, and the appraisal and land acquisition professionals will be evaluated based on their ability to support a fair agreement package, including their approach to mediation. Questions of how this will be implemented will be resolved as part of the contract’s terms of reference once a consulting team is selected.

 

The following Frequently Asked Questions aim to provide as much information as is currently available.  Further information will be provided as developments occur.

 

Council and staff continue to pursue additional options for providing supports to enable acceptable agreements with property owners. Council has heard the requests to pursue additional funds and resources and has meetings with Provincial Ministers and representatives scheduled at the upcoming Union of BC Municipalities conference.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  • Where is the Contribution Agreement at?

The contribution agreements with the two senior governments are in currently in process. We hope to have detailed review underway within the next three weeks and finalized in October. The federal agreement will not be completed until after the federal election as it requires the Minister responsible for Infrastructure Canada to sign off.

  • How will the land acquisition process unfold?

The land acquisition process depends on the design submitted from the successful proponent in the Request for Proposals. Once the City and contracted professionals have an approved plan, the professionals would operate under those terms of reference and final decisions for areas where agreements can’t be made would rest with City Council. Questions about the appraisal method will be answered with this process, and staff and Council will discuss how we engage with affected residents about these technical questions.

  • How will residents be contacted?

The land acquisition team will work with the City and Regional District to ensure notices are sent out by mail to all affected landowners regarding notices for appraisals and individual meetings.

  • When will this be able to start?

The City understands there are several property owners who have an urgent need to work towards a purchase as soon as possible. Staff is working towards finding a resolution for that request as soon as possible and aims to begin by November 2019.

  • Who is coordinating the work for the City?

The City has hired a program manager who is currently working remotely but will be relocating here later this year. The program manager will be developing an updated project plan and detailed budget breakdown for Council review by the beginning of November 2019. The program manager will also be hiring the design and engineering team that will develop the detailed designs to go beyond the conceptual maps shared on http://bfre.ca/. Manager of Strategic Initiatives / Recovery Manager Graham Watt is coordinating the land acquisition and community planning components of the flood mitigation program.

  • What’s the budget breakdown?

The budget breakdown as submitted in the grant will be provided in a separate information package within the next couple of weeks. This shows the included contingency above post-flood value estimates.

  • Is the information from the floodplain mapping workshop in August available?

The floodplain mapping and hazard / risk assessment project will be presented in a public workshop in October – details to be announced.

  • May residents have salvage rights before any demolition?

Salvage rights and the opportunity for moving homes has been identified as a need in the in-kind program. A survey asking to identify your interest in this support as well as the rest of the supports will be sent out this week, and staff will consider how to accommodate these requests.  The survey for buyout area residents can be found online at In-Kind Options Survey.

  • What about properties that seem to be abandoned?

People should continue to care for their homes and support neighbours as they are able. Staff will consider any public safety issues with properties on a case by case basis.

  • What incentives may be available if residents wanted to buy and develop property together?

The City is studying all development incentives and in-kind options, including access to land and waiving of fees. Please use the survey to be sent out this week to identify your requests. The City is also looking at the tax implications of borrowing to support additional costs to the extent required.

  • More information on the 2018 Emergency Response?

Questions about the 2018 flood response need to be directed to the RDKB Emergency Program.

 

Boundary flood recovery banner

Boundary Flood Recovery Email Signup

The Boundary Flood Recovery team has setup an email newsletter list to update interested residents about the recovery status. It will hold bi-weekly or more frequent activity updates and some neighbourhood specific updates. This is your best way to consistently receive information about the recovery.

Boundary flood recovery banner

Flood Recovery meeting 6pm Wednesday July 11

Grand Forks Senior Secondary Auditorium

The Boundary Flood Recovery team is holding a meeting to provide updates on recovery planning and implementation to flood-affected residents and the general public.

Agenda:

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Recovery Operations Implementation Overview
  • Recovery updates
    • Wellness and unmet needs
    • Economic recovery and recommendations
    • Erosion, in-stream debris and environmental quality
    • Critical infrastructure and flood debris removal
    • Housing recovery plan
    • Future flood protection measures
  • Questions
  • Next steps

Questions? Comments?

info@grandforks.ca

1-888-747-9119

 

Flood meeting notes

JUNE 22, 2018

RE: Boundary Flood Update Meeting – June 13, 2018

On Wednesday night citizens affected by the recent flood were on hand to hear what steps were in motion to advance the community from the Response phase of the flood event to Recovery phase, as well as to understand the different roles in each phase, and to have their questions answered by a panel of representatives involved in the Recovery Plan.

These representatives included:

  • Roly Russell, Chair, RDKB Board of Directors and EOC Policy Group
  • Chris Marsh, Director, RDKB Emergency Operations Centre
  • Steve Newton, RDKB Recovery Manager
  • Kandis Lipsett, Environmental Emergency Response Officer, Ministry of Environment
  • Michael Templeton, Operations Manager, Canadian Red Cross
  • Rob de Pruis, Director, Consumer & Industry Relations, Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Mayor Frank Konrad, City of Grand Forks
  • Carrie Dallaway, Coordinator, Recovery and Funding Programs
  • Juliana Gola, Team Leader, Environmental Health, Interior Health Authority
  • Margaretha Lund, A/Manager, Recovery, Disaster Psychosocial Program

Steve Newton, who has been involved with BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC for over 30 years and has taken on the role of Recovery Manager to initiate the Recovery phase, outlined the Recovery roles as explained in this graphic.

With Newton in place as the Recovery Manager, City of Grand Forks employees will be instated shortly as Deputy Recovery Manager and Recovery Assistant.  The 6 pillars of Recovery have been identified and the organizations to spearhead these have also, for the most part, been identified as outlined in the graphic above.


Hydrological Assessment and Critical Infrastructure Studies are the first steps

Roly Russell, Chair of the RDKB Board of Directors and EOC Policy Group said that the first step would be to do a Hydrological Assessment of the entire river system by a Hydrological Engineer.  He acknowledged citizens’ concerns over the delay in shoring up flood protection such as dykes and berms, but Russell pointed out that in order to move forward, data was needed about the river flow and how it has changed, the channels it has carved, the soil effects and the debris that has been deposited along its length.  Chris Marsh, Director of the EOC, echoed this later when responding to a question about reinforcing the banks. He said that the Hydrological Assessment would enable the Recovery Team to bring specific recommendations to the Province to help fast-track instream projects, such as dyke building and berm reinforcement, to try to ensure they are done before a next possible flooding event.  Both Russell and Marsh pointed out that by doing this Hydrological Assessment first, the Recovery Team would be able to identify all of the critical points in the geography that require attention. The study would allow the Recovery Team to make informed decisions on where to enhance flood protection that would not create an impact on downstream areas.

Marsh also pointed out that the Hydrological Assessment will recalculate the 200-year flood level which is what modern flood control structures are built to. It will also help with a concurrent Critical Infrastructure Study where Structural Engineers and Flood Control Engineers will be brought in and will advise what needs to happen with dykes, berms, pathways, and roadways.

Update at time of publication-On Thursday, the day after the meeting, a Hydrological Engineer was in a helicopter over the area assessing the situation.

Ministry of Environment findings on Contamination

To address fears about contamination, Kandis Lipsett, the Environmental Emergency Response Office for the Ministry of Environment (MOE), next explained the findings so far by the Ministry. The biggest visual to showcase how difficult it would have been to deal with the flood levels, came from the Kettle River Flow data which showed that for the month of May 2018, 623 cubic meters of water per second was the peak discharge rate.  To illustrate, Lipsett compared an Olympic sized swimming pool to the High School Gymnasium citizens were in, and the water level at approximately seven feet.  She outlined how this vast amount of water was discharged every 4 seconds.  “That is a historic flow of water,” she said.  “The refresh rate was also historic.“ Given the amount of water inflow and outflow Lipsett summarised, the findings indicate that any contaminants such as sewage were ‘vastly diluted” to well below regulatory levels.  Juliana Gola, Team Leader at the Interior Health Authority (IHA) agreed with the MOE and felt there was no significant health threat.  Other findings concluded, after an aerial surveillance done May 18-19, 2018 using infrared technology to detect hydrocarbons on the water surface, that no oil contamination was measured. The instrument used is able to measure as little as 20 ml on the water surface. Also, the MOE had immediately established communication with Rock Wool and InterFor as the flood event happened, to ensure they could report spills, etc.  The findings by the MOE of the pools at the industries found there to be tanins and lignins in the water making it dark and appear to be oil but it was not.  The findings were: given the amount of water present and constantly refreshing form the water in and outflow there was no  level of contamination above regulatory levels. The next step will be to hire a qualified professional to more accurately quantify the data.

You can continue to report concerns about contaminants at eocinformation@rdkb.com

Red Cross and Province of BC ink a deal to assist families

Michael Templeton of the Red Cross was next and mentioned the new transition program that Premier Horgan had announced that day, explaining that it is a new program that neither the Province of BC nor the Red Cross have ever been involved with, so details are still being worked out.  $2800 per household per month will be available over 90 days. To be eligible you must register with the Red Cross by either going in person to the Resiliency Centre at the Curling Rink (until June 25 and then the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena) or call 1-800-863-6582.

Disaster Financial Assistance

Carrie Dallaway of Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) responded to a concern raised by a resident, stating that the DFA funding is based on the applicant and not the property.  She advised that on the third application by the same applicant for assistance, it would be at the discretion of the Minister.  She said it would be based on whether that applicant has done everything they can reasonably do to avoid a recurrence of the disaster.

Your Insurance coverage explained by Insurance Bureau of Canada representative

Next, Rob de Pruis of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), was able to dispel people’s fears that if citizens were to claim on their insurance for this flood event that they would not be able to get insurance again. He pointed out that if you look at other events such as a house fire, after a claim is made and you reconstruct your house, you are able to get insurance again.  And no one event will affect the premiums, as the insurance companies are national or often international.  He also noted that the insurance companies are in competition so it is doubtful that premiums will go up significantly. He went on to outline the different types of flood coverage and the options available to people. De Pruis said the typical home insurance policy does not cover flood damage.  Overland Flood coverage or Flood coverage, the wording depending on which provider you are with, which covers water coming in through windows, doors, etc. from the outside, is a relatively new product. He said only 11 companies out of 300 in BC offer it and it is optional.  He said approximately 25% of people in B.C. have it. de Pruis went on to outline Additional Living Expense on a person’s policy which would provide funding for a place to stay if you cannot return to their home but this is only triggered if you have Overland Flooding Insurance.

There is also Sewer Back Up coverage which covers damage caused by back up coming up through drains from your plumbing systems.

He said the first place to reach out is to your insurance broker to find out the coverage you have so they can start the remediation process. If a person is not getting the answers or have questions or there is a dispute, they can call the IBC’s Consumer Information Centre 1-844-227-5422  or askibcwest@ibc.ca   www.ibc.ca

Housing-short, mid and long term

Housing, short-term, mid-term and long-term were immediate concerns for people and Graham Watt, Senior City Planner with the City of Grand Forks asked people to register with the Red Cross. He said the data they are collecting through the Red Cross, Insurance Claims, Rapid Damage Assessment, Disaster Financial Assistance, and an outreach program in the next few days, will be compiled by Urban Matters. The findings by the assessment team at Urban Matters will help to blend all the information into a plan to determine what people need right now; how many need short-term housing, how many need long-term housing, whether the right space is available for this, and beyond that, ensure there are other alternatives for long term housing.  He asked people to please check in with the RDKB Resilience Centre at the Curling Rink to advise of their needs.  Contact them by phone at 1-800-863-6582.

Unmet Needs Committee

Another item the panel touched upon was the Unmet Needs Committee that will be put into effect.  They all recognize that there will be unique situations within the context of the flood and some of these may be able to be addressed by this committee.  Details on when it will be in place will be announced in the next few weeks.

Building Permit fees and Property Tax Deferral

Mayor Konrad responded to more City-focussed issues such as putting a hold on Building Permit fees for flood victims as they rebuild, and putting a hold on paying property taxes for those affected. He advised that the City is taking the Building Permit fees into account and although does not have an answer that night it is something they are looking at.  With regards putting a hold on having to pay Property Taxes due shortly, it is a legislated program by the Provincial government so collection is required by law by the City of Grand Forks. Regina Burroughs of Service B.C. stepped in and pointed out that there is a tax deferral program available through the Province for those over 55 or with children under 18 or, if you are a surviving spouse or a person with disabilities.  Also she reminded people to claim their Homeowners’ Grant, which can save most homeowners over $700.    She asked people to contact the Service BC Office to discuss this option so people could be less out of pocket right away. The office is currently re-located to the Grand Forks Art Gallery building.  She did note that unpaid taxes in rural areas will incur a 5% penalty and 10% within the city boundaries. And those with Farmland may be able to apply for a tax extension for three months.

Another request of the City was for it to hold electrical bills for flood victims.  A concerned citizen pointed out that she is running fans and pumps 24-7 to deal with the water ingress. Mayor Konrad advised that this is one of the points the City is working on at the moment but requires a bit more time to assess.

In short, with the Recovery Team mostly in place, the RDKB, the City of Grand Forks, the EOC Policy Group and the Recovery Manager have outlined the next steps on the road to recovery.  The first is the Hydrological Assessment of the entire river system, which will look at river flow, soil effects, debris in rivers, etc. and provide recommendations on flood prevention structures such as berms and dykes.  The team emphasizes that this part is necessary to ensure that they manage the projects properly so what they do now does not create a bad effect elsewhere on the river.

Simultaneously, a Critical Infrastructure study will be done with Structural Engineers and Flood Control engineers reviewing and providing recommendations, for example, of what the flood levels should be raised to and what other infrastructure should be shored up to prevent future flooding.

With regards to housing, people are asked to check in and register with the Red Cross and describe their needs. This and other data collected will be merged by Urban Matters to help come up with a plan for short-term, mid-term and long-term housing.  For more information on what Urban Matters does here is its website link              http://www.urbanmatters.ca/stories/

With regards to garbage collection, this is being done to remove flood debris left curbside.  NEPA Trucking is doing the work in waves.  Cavan Gates of the City of Grand Forks pointed out that the first wave of debris has been removed and what seems to be the same piles are in fact, the second piles of debris.

Finally, City Council will be hosting a Bylaw Amendment Open House and Public Meeting on Monday, June 18 where citizens can weigh in on manufactured houses and other issues.  Key changes to the Bylaws already enacted this year include several provisions in support of affordable housing, including lowering minimum dwelling sizes and enabling garden suites (also known as laneway houses, carriage homes, and detached accessory dwelling units) across most of the City. Tiny homes on wheels may also be constructed or placed in certain circumstances (industrial property watchperson’s quarters, in residential lots with temporary use permit/provisional occupancy until placed o a foundation and converted to a garden suite or principal residence). Please contact the City of Grand Forks planning department for further information (planning@grandforks.ca / 250.442.8266).

In the meantime it has been pointed out that RVs are allowed on a person’s property during construction or repairs, so for those who have RVs, perhaps this is an option for temporary housing until decisions are made on this issue.

Below is a contact list of Agencies involved in Flood Recovery as well as other services that may be of use to citizens:

Agency Responsibility Address Telephone Email Website
Recovery Centre Flood Recovery RDKB office
2140 Central Av.
1-888-747-9119
City of Grand Forks Property Taxes, Bylaws and Zoning, Housing, Building Permits, Electrical 7217 4th St. 250-442-8266 info@grandforks.ca grandforks.ca
Kootenay Boundary Regional District (RDKB) Flood Recovery, Flood Debris pick up, Security, Mosquito Control, Re-Entry Package 2140 Central Ave. 250-442-2708  or
1-877-520-7352
via the website rdkb.com
Community Futures Commercial Services 1647 Central Av. 250-442-2722 or
1-877-267-9399
info@boundarycf.com boundarycf.com
Disaster Financial Assistance Financial Assistance   1-888-257-4777 https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-response-and-recovery/disaster-financial-assistance

To Apply-Must be in by Aug.2

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-response-and-recovery/disaster-financial-assistance/forms-and-information

Insurance Bureau of Canada Questions about Home owner policy   1-844-227-5422 askibcwest@ibc.ca ibc.ca
Red Cross Resilience Centre-Housing Needs Registration, Clean up packages, DFA Applications Curling Rink until June 25
then
Jack Goddard Arena
2140 Central Ave.
1-800-863-6582 http://www.redcross.ca/how-we-help/current-emergency-responses/british-columbia-floods-2018

Donations matched by Province until July 31, 2018

Service BC Property Tax Deferral Temp. location-Gallery 2
524 Central Av.
250-442-4306 gina.burroughs@gov.bc.ca https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/defer-taxes
Ministry of the Environment soil and water concerns eocinformation@rdkb.com
Interior Health Health concerns, air quality safety, food safety, water quaity program, etc Boundary Community Health Centre and Public Health Office
7441 2nd St.
250-443-3150 or   interiorhealth.ca
Samaritan’s Purse Help with home clean up 1-866-628-6565 SamaritansPurse.ca
Boundary Community Food Bank Food Assistance 215 Central Av. 250-442-2800 boundaryfoodbank@gmail.com kb.fetchbc.ca
Grand Forks & District Public Library Computer Access, Printing, Scanning, Faxing 7342 5th St 250-442-3944 via the website grandforks.bc.libraries.coop
Boundary Family Services Child, Youth and Family Services 1200 Central Av. 250-442-2267 or
1-877-442-5355
info@bfiss.org boundaryfamily.org
Sunshine Valley Child Care Society Child Care 978-72nd Ave. 250-442-5314 svccs@telus.net svccs.ca
Interior-Boundary-BC Child Dare Resource & Referral Child Care Referral Temporary relocation to Little People’s Centre
978 72nd Ave.
250-442-5152 bccrr@telus.net childcarechoices.ca
Habitat for Humanity
Re-Store
Furniture 7281 5th  St. 250-442-2720 gfrestore@hfhsebc.org https://www.hfhsebc.org/restore/
Fortis BC Gas billing 250-979-4900 or
1-888-224-2710
via website fortisbc.com
Shaw Internet and TV 7474 19th St. 250-310-7429 no eml https://www.shaw.ca/order/british-columbia/cable-tv-grand-forks
Telus Phone, Internet, TV 1-888-811-2323 via the website https://www.telus.com/en/bc/support/contact-us/email

 

flood update 2018

Community Meeting Wednesday June 13

Please join the Regional District of Kootenay Boundaryand the City of Grand Forks for a Boundary Flood Community Update.

Where: Grand Forks Secondary School Gymnasium, 1331 Central Ave.

When: June 13, 2018 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Why: A local government update on the transition from emergency response to recovery and next steps.

Representatives available for questions will include:

  • Regional District of Kootenay Boundary
  • City of Grand  Forks
  • Ministry of Environment
  • Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure
  • Disaster Financial Assistance
  • Health Emergency Management BC
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Interior Health Authority
  • Canadian Red Cross

and others.

If you have questions, please email them in advance, with FLOOD MEETING JUNE 13 in the subject line so the RDKB Recovery Team (which includes the City of Grand Forks) may be better able to answer them.

news release

City supports flood relief efforts

May 13, 2018

Mayor Frank Konrad is working closely with emergency officials to support flood relieve efforts. He participated in a ground and air tour today of the severely impacted flood areas within Grand Forks.

“It takes a strong community to come together during times of crisis and work together so effectively. I am humbled by the level of loss I have witnessed today and will be working closely with emergency officials in the coming months in regards to relief efforts. After speaking with the Premier, I am confident in the continued support we will receive from the province during recovery,” said Mayor Konrad.

The City of Grand Forks is working closely with the other members of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary during this time of unprecedented flooding. With the forecast of warmer weather officials are cautioning the public to remain vigilant in anticipation of the second surge of water from the melting snow set to pass through local watersheds over the weekend and into early next week. Water levels at their peak were 60 cm higher than the previous recorded maximum.

“This situation is heartbreaking, and we’re not through it yet. The beauty I see in it is the tireless efforts from staff and volunteers, and the stubbornness and strength of our community,” Roly Russell, Chair from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

Many Grand Forks residents have registered with the Red Cross upon evacuation. Loved ones wanting to connect with them can call 250 442-1658 or 250 442-1556.

It is extremely important to be safe when near floodwater. River levels can rise quickly and currents can be unpredictable. The ground can be soft and unstable causing extremely poor footing. Exercise extreme caution.

The contact for the Emergency Operations Centre is 1-888-747-9119.
For more information: Kevin McKinnon, Information Officer for the RDKB, cell: 250 442-6111