Time to re-assess flood mapping zones

The citizens of Drumheller may be facing a very serious issue with the release of the recent flood hazard map released by Alberta

The citizens of Drumheller may be facing a very serious issue with the release of the recent flood hazard map released by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.

The map has designated a significant portion of the residences in the Drumheller Valley as being in a “floodway.” With this designation, the provincial government will be registering caveats on the affected properties to ensure nobody unknowingly buys a floodway property without prior knowledge.

As most of us can appreciate, this would be the responsible thing to do for the protection of homebuyers across Alberta. However, in the case of the Drumheller Valley, many people feel it has been improperly assessed and that it should be reassessed by ESRD.

A number of homeowners have contacted my Drumheller office with their concerns about the impact this will surely have on property values and resale of their homes.

With the good planning by the town of Drumheller and flood mitigation work that was done throughout the valley, it should have reflected these efforts in the new maps issued by ESRD. It seems that these efforts have been overlooked in the new hastily issued maps that have been described as a “death sentence” for the town.

Attempts at this time are being made to have ESRD review their findings and take into consideration all of the factors that could drastically change the disposition of a great many properties in the area.

As your member in the Alberta Legislature and a member of the Official Opposition, there are responsibilities that I must fulfill.

Opposing legislation, policies or actions by the government that is detrimental to the Drumheller-Stettler constituency, is crucial to protecting the viability of your property.

In this particular case, exposing decisions made by the Alberta government that will have a negative effect on homes in the Drumheller Valley is a critical step in the corrective actions that will not unfairly penalize homeowners is also a responsibility of my office.

Along with opposing and exposing the shortcomings of the government, it is critical that we as the Opposition propose alternative measures that would be in the best interests of the public.

In light of the impact the decisions will have on the town of Drumheller, it is imperative that ESRD review their data to ensure all the factors have been included in their decision.

In early July, I was in attendance at a meeting with federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and town officials, to discuss flood mitigation and the successful actions that were taken by the town of Drumheller that minimized flood damage in the valley.

In the meetings, Minister Toews commended the town of Drumheller’s actions and said it was an example of how to do proper flood mitigation.

The town of Drumheller officials and I are committed to pressuring ESRD to re-assess the final data that can play a significant role in Drumheller’s future.

For more information, you can view the flood maps on the ESRD interactive website at: www.envinfo.gov.ab.ca/FloodHazard/.

If you would like your comments and concerns passed on to the ESRD minister, please email them to Drumheller.stettler@assembly.ab.ca, by fax 403-823-6586 or by mail to Box 1929, Drumheller, AB, T0J 0Y0, and I will ensure that your concerns are brought forward.

— From the Legislature

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