The key focus of this article is the 'possibility' Drumheller may get funds from the government towards flood mitigation.
This past Monday, November 19, 2018, town council held a special council meeting to pass what is to be the beginnings of applying for funds to battle flooding within the Drumheller area during spring floods. The funds would go towards a 40KM dike along the Red Deer River.
"We are trying to work with the provincial and federal government. There is a big grant out called the Disaster Mitigation Adaptation Fund (or D.M.A.F.). It's municipal, provincial and federal funding. We don't know if we'll get any funding but the bottom line is, the governments at every level want to know that you have allocated funds for that," explains, in detail, Drumheller Mayor, Heather Colberg. "Although we set money aside, it does not mean we will spend that money. We don't know if we'll get the grant or if we get it, how much we will get."
Colberg stressed the special council meeting that took place this was to agree that Drumheller's Municipal Government begin the process to apply for the D.M.A.F. grant.
An easier way of putting it: Town officials are getting their ducks in a row in order to apply for money from multiple tiers of government that could provide flood mitigation for many areas within Drumheller's borders.
"That's what we're doing right now. Trying to lobby provincially and federally," Colberg continued. "At the end of the day, we are a flood community. It would be nice to wake up every spring and not worry as to what is going to happen. That's really the point of this. It's just a preparation."
The allocated money from the municipal government would set aside 5 million dollars. Again, Colberg outlined that this money, to be put aside, is to seek matching grants from D.M.A.F.
Mayor Colberg went on to say that the resources every spring, from manpower to dollar signs, are resources that would not need to be used if Drumheller only had a functional and reliable flood mitigation plan. The D.M.A.F. grant, if awarded to Drumheller, could eliminate hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in flood damage for many years to come.
"The big thing here is that there are no guarantees in any of this. It's just this program is coming out and we just want to be prepared in case we're one of the lucky ones that get some funds allotted."