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Six Peace Country communities approved for disaster funding

After previously being denied for government disaster relief funding, six Peace Country communities will receive money. The Municipal Districts of Fairview, Peace, Smoky River, Spirit River, Birch Hills County and the Village of Rycroft have successfully appealed their previous applications and will get more than $4.8 million between them.

Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley MLA Marg McCuaig Boyd says after working with the communities and finding new information, the decisions were overturned.

“Working with them I got them to submit any extra data they had. I did advocate for it to the group saying I had actually seen the damage and this was unusual. Together they made a case for each of their areas and I’m happy to say that the cases were seriously looked at and we have the good news to share with everyone today that their appeals were successful.”

Each community initially applied for the funding last fall after 2018 spring flooding damaged roads and buildings. At the time they were told that they didn’t fit the criteria. The County of Grande Prairie and the Town of Beaverlodge were however approved for funding after early spring runoff and a storm dropping 45 millimetres of rain fell over Beaverlodge in two hours.

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McCuaig Boyd says she’s contacted the municipalities to tell them that the funds are coming and says they are all excited about the outcome.

“A number said it’ll be good for their ratepayers. Some of them were pretty big hits to them, you know it was going to be tough for them to manage so I think that they’re pretty relieved that these were heard and they were successful.”

The MD of Smoky River will receive $3,360,000, the MD of Fairview will get $714,000, the MD of Spirit River will be given $470,000, Birch Hills County will get $242,000, the MD of Peace will get $47,000 and the Village of Rycroft will be given $29,000. McCuaig Boyd says that money should be handed out immediately.

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