Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Flood repairs in Alta. will be 'basic'

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CALGARY -- The Alberta government says homeowners and small businesses affected by last month's severe flooding can expect a rebuild, but they won't be entitled to hardwood floors or granite countertops.

The province announced new details to its flood-assistance program on Sunday, noting that all homeowners who qualify will get assistance for repairs, or a complete rebuild if that turns out to be cheaper.

But it says its funding formula will only apply for what it calls "basic levels of finish," which it says will cover things like vinyl siding, asphalt shingles, "basic quality" carpet and laminate countertops.

The announcement also states there will be funding to protect basements for homes and businesses in flood fringe areas by raising electrical outlets and panels, and for making repairs with materials that are easier to clean.

The province estimates it could cost $10,000 or more to repair or rebuild a basement with such measures instead of traditional materials and methods.

The policy says homeowners who don't take such steps to protect their properties will not be able to get caveats that would make them ineligible for future flood assistance removed.

"We have a responsibility to put protective measures in place for future buyers, realtors, lenders and insurers," Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths said Sunday in a news release.

"This is another step toward rebuilding safer communities."

The government has said it would continue to provide relief to residents and businesses in the so-called flood fringe, where the risks are lower, but only if municipalities took steps to mitigate risks.

It will introduce legislation this fall that would ban new development in flood plains.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 29, 2013 A12

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