The recently announced Alberta Community Resilience Program (ACRP) by Robin Campbell, minister of environment and sustainable resource development will certainly be a boon to the M.D. of Taber for grant funding in its objectives if its projects gets approved.
It is a three-year, $325 million grant program to support municipalities in the development of long-term resilience to flood and drought events, while encouraging integrated planning and healthy, functioning watersheds.
The ACRP will provide grants to municipalities for the design and construction of projects that protect critical municipal infrastructure from flooding and drought and help secure public safety is protected.
“The M.D. of Taber is engaged with 14 other municipalities and two irrigation districts on a regional storm water management plan. We received $670,000 in funding to conduct the study under the Regional Collaboration Grant Program and the results of that study will probably be concluded in August or September,” said Derrick Krizsan, municipal administrator for the M.D. of Taber. “The objective is to move forward with examining some of the potential mitigation projects that can be undertaken to address storm water issues, the big thing will be accessing funds for those projects.”
The M.D. has received the application form for ACRP, the template for the statement of municipal priorities and frequently asked questions about the program. The first application deadline for ACRP is Sept. 30. Subsequent application deadlines that all applicants throughout the province must adhere to are March 31 and Sept. 30 in both 2015 and 2016 for the three-year program.
“It all depends on being able to develop partnerships with irrigation districts and have willing partners. It is being able to understand from a regional perspective we are all serving the same citizens,” said Krizsan. “They provide water and we provide municipal infrastructure and things like policing and fire and land-use bylaws and recreation. Being able to mitigate storm water is important to our citizens.”
Under the Water Act which is administered by Alberta Environment, any individual landowner who seeks to modify drainage requires a Water Act approval.
“Municipalities are not responsible for storm water, but our council is responding to citizens’ requests to assist them in helping themselves.”