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.