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Saskatoon News

Province ramps up funding for water control assistance

Snow pack, 200 per cent above normal, minster says
Reported by François Biber
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With piles of snow sticking around through March and into April the provincial government is kicking in an extra $500,000 dollars to help with the spring runoff.

“Often times you’ll find a water channel cannot flow to its maximum potential because of debris that’s in there and that’s exactly what the reeves and councillors at the SARM convention were talking about and that’s what we can do right now,” said Saskatoon-Silversprings MLA Ken Cheveldayoff.

Off the heels of a Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) convention held in Saskatoon earlier this week, Cheveldayoff said reeves and councillors all over the province were asking for help to deal with what’s going to happen when the snow starts to melt.

Cheveldayoff noted the RM of Corman Park and Blaine Lake are two of the most vulnerable communities in Saskatchewan where spring runoff could cause major problems.

“That is an area that we see the snow pack at 200 per cent of normal so that’s an area where we’re meeting with all the communities… trying to anticipate where water flows may go and that’s the focus of our water security agency,” he said.

In 2012, Cheveldayoff said 110 municipalities took advantage of this fund and the announcement of the increase was well-received this time around as well.

“Everyone should be concerned everyone in their houses should try and get the snow away from their foundation as much as possible. If they don’t have a sump pump the suggestion is, is that they put one in. Make sure that on their streets that all the waterways are cleared and we’re asking municipalities, towns, villages and cities to do what they can and as government we’re making it top priority as well,” he said.

Earlier this week, the province heard finance minister Ken Krawetz’s budget speech and Premier Brad Wall said before any money goes to Sask Builds. His government would make sure his administration funds programs necessary to deal with the spring runoff. Cheveldayoff said this $500,000 increase is doing exactly that.

“The government of Saskatchewan was there for the people in 2011 and we’ll be there again for the people in 2013,” said Cheveldayoff.

fbiber@rawlco.com

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