Lake Manitoba Outlet Gets Fast-Tracked

The Manitoba government wants an outlet to lower water in lakes Manitoba and St. Martin operating by Jan. 1, 2012 to reduce the threat of spring flooding next year.

Premier Greg Selinger announced that and additional flood aid under the Building and Recovery Action Plan July 4.

Record flooding will cost the Manitoba government more than $550 million, Selinger said. However, much of that will be used to mitigate future flood damage, he said.

Lake Manitoba outlet options include digging channels parallel to the Fairford and Dauphin rivers, to move water faster into Lake Winnipeg.

The new assistance includes property tax relief where there was significant flood damage from when the damage occurred until Dec. 31, 2011.

Municipalities will determine which properties qualify.

The province is also increasing the maximum payout for permanent homes to $270,000 from $200,000. It will also waive the 10 per cent co-payment if permanent flood-proofing is done, which will raise the maximum payout benefits to $300,000.

The $90,000 available for cottage owners to support structural damage costs remains.

Under the Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) Program, which cottages don’t qualify for, the maximum payout will increase to $240,000 from $200,000. The province will also waive the 20 per cent co-payment if permanent flood-proofing is done.

The province is expanding coverage for those who undertake permanent flood protection for their homes, businesses or farms, and is extending coverage to cottages.

Property owners can now apply to make the protection permanent. The program is province-wide and includes Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg, Dauphin Lake, Oak Lake and other affected properties on rivers and lakes.

Homes, businesses and farms will be eligible to receive $86,000 in government funding on projects that cost $100,000. Owners will be responsible for 14 per cent of costs up to $100,000 and 100 per cent of costs above $100,000.

Cottage owners will be eligible for 86 per cent in government funding for projects up to $40,000 in costs.

Lake Manitoba residents can also still apply for the funding of up to $20,000 or 90 per cent of the costs of moving or raising homes and cottages in the flood inundation zone. [email protected]

About the author

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Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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