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County waiting on 2019 wildfire response payment

The County of Grande Prairie is still waiting on a little over $2 million from the province for its response to the Chuckegg Creek Wildfire in 2019. Recently, members of the County of Grande Prairie Council directed city staff to write a letter to the office of Minister of Municipal Affairs Kaycee Madu asking for an updated timeline of when payment will be received.

Reeve Leanne Beaupre says the province lays out the framework for how they pay the municipalities that responded to the wildfire near High Level and they simply want to know when they can expect to receive payment for the work done.

“We know that it’s coming; it’s just a matter of when it’s coming. But, for some of those municipalities that are not quite as financially able, it’s probably more concerning it’s outstanding for them.”

Beaupre says the County is not the only municipality that responded to the fire, and she hopes that putting the request in writing will help expedite the process for all parties involved.

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“Typically, a year, or outstanding [for a year], seems to be a little excessive, especially for the municipalities carrying those costs.”

In addition to taking part in the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership effort, the County of Grande Prairie also dispatched fire engines, a structural protection unit, and 14 firefighters to the blaze in May 2019. During the 33-day GPREP activation, the Grande Prairie region took in more than 1,000 evacuees from northwestern Alberta.

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