It's a battle that's been going on at least since 2013 and it doesn't look like the fight between the Town of Drumheller and the Alberta Government over flood mitigation on the Red Deer River will end anytime soon.
For years, the town tried to argue the province should be 100 per cent responsible for the cost of all mitigation work: however, they have since agreed to bite the bullet and pay their share under the latest government formula.
With that settled for the moment, the Alberta Government now wants local taxpayers to take ownership of all the work. Mayor Terry Yemen doesn't think that's a good idea.
"The province owns the property, they bought the property, they built the dikes, they're their dikes," he told 99.5 Drum FM. "Now, they want the Town of Drumheller to take over the responsibility and take title on the dikes."
"In the future, if we had some sort of a catastrophic situation where there was an ice dam or a flood like '05 or '13 and it did major, major damage to the dikes, the province could say they're your dikes, Drumheller, fix them." he cautioned. "It costs millions and millions and millions of dollars to do that: it could bankrupt a small town like Drumheller."
Yemen would love to see work get underway on the two mitigation projects that have been approved by the province so far, East Midland and Newcastle, and Central Drumheller, but he is not prepared to jeopardize the town's future.
"What they're suggesting is just a simple memorandum of understanding and I don't know if that will hold value from government to government," he explained. "We want an actual caveat on the title that the province will be responsible for any major repairs. Drumheller will continue to do the maintenance, but the province has to be responsible."
Yemen was told that grant money would always be available for things like broken dikes, but he noted grants were made available after the 2013 flood and we still haven't seen any of it.

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