Feds to Marten Beach: ‘You’re on your own’

Leader staff

The federal government has decided Marten Beach doesn’t rate any funding for flood mitigation. The negative response to an application to the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) came in about a year after the M.D. of Lesser Slave Lake applied for it.

“We are very disappointed that the federal government did not see to fund this project,” said the M.D. in a news release. “We encourage affected citizens or associations to support our ongoing lobbying efforts by writing to the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities to raise your concern.”

In other words, the battle may be lost, but not necessarily the war. So the effort will continue.

But for now, Marten Beachers are going to have to take what comes.

The M.D.’s application to the DMAF, had it been successful, would have seen 40 per cent of the cost of a multi-million-dollar mitigation project covered by the grant. The project was called ‘Room for the River,’ and would have sacrificed a few properties in the process of protecting the rest from future floods.

In the release, the M.D. said it has spent around $854,000 so far on various studies, consultation, lobbying and grant applications for Marten Beach flood solutions. On this latest attempt, it included a “comprehensive, data-driven, 250-page application.”

As noted, it didn’t work, but the M.D. says it “remains committed to reducing the flood disaster risk in Marten Beach, with alternative funding options and mitigation strategies being explored and will be forthcoming soon. Whatever direction council decides, consideration must be given to the future financial impacts of the project on other municipal infrastructure projects and upgrades, which will need to be monitored and evaluated.

“For more information and updates on this project, please visit the Marten Beach Flood Mitigation section of our website or please contact Shari Spencer at our MD Office 780-849-4888.”

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