This Monday’s Committee of the Whole in Grand Forks council chambers will discuss the buyout policy direction, and give residents more information regarding the process. This as the North Ruckle neighbourhood was voted to be bought out and returned to a natural floodplain last September, endorsing recommendations from the Dobson Engineering Report.

Mayor Brian Taylor says council agreed to offer in-kind support to some affected residents, which they hope to define during discussions:

“There are things that we might do in our powers, which is zoning, subdivision, and looking at the long term benefits of certain actions by council.”

He adds the 53 million dollar funding commitment announced weeks ago was exciting, but only funding for the post-flood value of homes was received:

“Certainly a lot of disappointment in terms of the impact that this is going to have on individuals in the Ruckles, based on the fact that they’re sticking to their position at this point that it’s going to be post-flood values used in the adjudication of buyouts.”

Mayor Taylor says post-flood means current fair market value, so they aren’t necessarily aiming to use the budget numbers appraised last year as some property values may have increased. The recent funding announcement was step one in the buyout process, and Mayor Taylor says confirming and defining that process moving forwards to residents is the next step.

He thanks the community for their patience:

“It’s new territory in the province and the City of Grand Forks and so we’re moving through the process where we’re doing a lot of talking to each other and trying to work out these details. But again, great thanks goes out to all the people that have waited well over a year, and are waiting in limbo for answers to the questions that they have.”

As council is ironing out details they hope to hear from residents during the decision making process. The meeting hits council chambers at 9AM on July 15th, although any decisions will be forwarded to a Regular Meeting.