SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog is hoping to receive funding from the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance program following recent storms.
The money would be used to reinburse the township for cleanup costs after two storm events hit the municipality on Sunday, Aug. 3. As per the first step of the process, on Wednesday, Aug. 12 council requested the minister of Municipal affairs and housing to declare the township a disaster area.
Director of Public Works and Parks Glen Smith provided council with estimated costs of the cleanup at the Aug. 12 meeting.
Some of the costs includes over $285,000 to replace gravel and magnesium chloride recently put down by the municipality, almost $160,000 for roadway tree removal and over $17,000 for staff overtime costs. Township staff are currently working to compile exact costs for the application.
One of the things that Scugog is not eligible for is the replacement of the 300 trees lost because of the storm.
“I will have to appoach council next year and ask for funding for the replacement, as well as looking at possible grant opportunities,” Mr. Smith explained.
Damage to private property will also not be included in the application. Mr. Smith has 14 business days from the time of the storm to complete and deliver the application. He estimated that the total cleanup costs will be roughly around $600,000.
Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew questioned whether the township has a plan B if the process is unsuccessful.
“It’s an emergency that we have had to deal with and we don’t have a lot of reserves to deal with it, where’s that money going to come from?” she asked.
Mr. Smith noted that the process involved contains a great deal of paperwork, and it may be some time before the township is awarded funds.
“I’m optimistic that we are going to get some monies back. I know that there are communities out there that have suffered tornado damage that are still seeking funding,” he said. “A downburst, although that carries the same wind as an F1 tornado, it has less of an impact, on paper, than a tornado. I say we hold course, bury ourselves in the paperwork and hope for the best.”
The two storms occurred on Aug. 3, and Environment Canada estimated the wind speeds were between 135 and 175 km per hour. Power to many homes across North Durham was also knocked out because of the storm.