Deadline day for permits for the Disaster Recovery Program

Time is quickly running out to get the permits required for an application to the Disaster Recovery Program.

Monday is deadline day to fill out the forms and get your claim for mitigation work into the province following last June’s destructive flood.

The Alberta government set a goal of completing 90 per cent of eligible claims by the beginning of the week.

It’s still unclear on what will happen to those claims filed after the fact; the province says any new program that commences after March 31 will be handled by an internal DRP Administration group.

Calgary Chief Building Official Marco Civitarese tells 660News, he’s noticed an uptick in the people trying to file claims before the deadline.

“The latest I have doesn’t indicate any further extensions without a letter of intent to the province,” Civitarese said. “There have been some sitting down saying we need more time and we don’t know about that (the deadline)”

The first step was applicants needed a building permit obtained by March 31st.

“We’ll expedite a permit if it has to get done today,” he adds.

Civitarese says it’s a choice, if people choose not to get the permit than they’ve probably acquired funding through another means like insurance.

He says getting a permit is proving the minimum standard, showing your project is up to code and that you have a licensed contractor involved.

“We’re concerned if it wasn’t done by a licensed trade; there are serious concerns to safety,” says Civitarese.

Councillor Druh Farrell says she’s happy with how the process has worked in notifying her constituents in Ward 7, one of the hardest hit areas of the city, although she admits no system is really perfect.

“Our city department, community neighbourhood services, our water services are working very, very hard and they’re working closely with the province,” she said. “It’s important that we communicate with Calgarians as much as possible on the progress that we’ve made and how we plan on moving forward.”

Farrell says there has been a lot done to protect ourselves from future disasters but more mitigation is still needed.

“It’s a different river than it was before and we need to understand how it functions differently,” the Ward 7 Councillor said.

In the meantime, a group of concerned residents have banded together asking for a moratorium on the mitigation work.

The Elbow River in Calgary group (ERIC), made up of homeowners from Elbow Park, Elboya, Ramsay, Erlton, Mission and Rideau-Roxboro, fear their riverside neighbourhoods are being sacrificed for businesses and commercial properties like 4th Street.

The group formed only weeks after learning the Calgary Stampede plans to move ahead with riverbank restoration at the south end of the groups, as well as the flood wall project near the grandstand.

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