Town council has approved $1 million in unbudgeted disaster relief funding to help post-flood recovery efforts in Hay River.

The funding, totalling $1,072,000 and announced at a July 12 council meeting, is needed for “high priority repair or replacement of flood damaged Town of Hay River assets,” states a report prepared by senior administrative officer Glenn Smith.

Unprecedented flooding that devastated Hay River in May will cost an estimated $22 million to repair in addition to $30 million in mitigation efforts to prevent similar crises in the future, according to a preliminary assessment that the town released last month.

To date, the municipality has spent $440,000 to repair or replace assets and $97,000 of unbudgeted response costs for a total of $537,000 of expenses.

“These expenses have been incurred through necessity to ensure effective emergency response, basic operation of essential town services and to protect the safety of residents,” states the report.

The finance committee has identified an additional $535,000 worth of high priority work to be done this year ahead of securing funding from the territorial government.

“There are several additional recovery/repair and mitigation opportunities that are being explored for third-party coverage that are not included in the $535,000 recommendation due to high cost/risk (i.e. West Channel berm repairs, water treatment plant road raising),” the report continues. “Administration continues to advance discussions with potential funders, but more time is required to secure agreements through and beyond the 2022 construction season.”

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