The first of many public meetings on the Recovery was held at the GFSS auditorium on Wednesday July 11, 2018
These meetings are to inform the public about what has been happening, what is planned and also to get feedback from the public. A for instance was the appearance of Rockwool and an announcement of their offer of up to 20 bags of insulation free to those needing to rebuild. More info on that at www.rockwool.com/grandforks.
These are also the place to ask questions and put rumours to rest.
Such as this rumour: Is there an $80 million dollar cash infusion so the city can buy out affected home owners? No there is not.
or this question: Will those having to rebuild have to pay fees to the city for things such as licenses and re-connection of power? No the planners don’t want to add to your pain.
The full meeting can be watched below. IF time permits I’ll try to add better links to parts of the meeting so you don’t have to wade though the whole thing to find the question or info you need to know. Like I do with city council pie. (but today I have shift to work so time does not permit this)
The recent flooding disaster affected not only residents but businesses as well. It’s a month on and a number of downtown businesses are still evacuated from their premises. Some will be able to return sometime during the summer once restoration work is done but others have a tougher and longer wait – with the worry that some of these buildings might have to be destroyed.
This creates a lot of anxiety and hardship because most businesses cannot go 3 months of interruption and still survive. So what can the business owners expect to happen? And what can the community do to help prevent losses and facilitate recovery?
It turns out that people here in Grand Forks have connections that lead to people who were part of the team that got High River, and its business community, back from its historic flood disaster 5 years ago. In their case over a thousand businesses had to be evacuated among the myriad of other issues facing them. But they persevered and as a result High River has been able to recover and be stronger (and better protected) than before.
Two of those people mentioned above happened to be attending something nearby in Kelowna. These are Angela Groeneveld and Todd Williams. From Angela’s bio:
Angela also has extensive experience in Business and Economic Disaster Recovery. She was on the ground through all phases of recovery experience combined with professional education to assist local businesses to recover and rebuild after natural or manmade disasters. Some of her projects include; building Canada’s first temporary business park to house businesses that lost their storefronts to the 2013 flood; transitioning the businesses through the phases of recovery. She was then called to share her expertise in partnership with EDA and Red cross to assist in the initial stages of business recovery during the Fort McMurray fire. Angela is a facilitator for the International Economic Development “restore your economy” training. Angela currently is working with the Puerto Rico Economic Development Director on business recovery and contracts to the Town of High River on the last phase of recovery.
Todd Williams was the Project Manager for all these projects and grants related to rebuilding and renewing the business community of High River.
They were able to change their schedule to visit Grand Forks and see for themselves the situation. They talked with some of the people in affected businesses, made connections with the local government and business support groups.
The Boundary country Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted this Open House for business owners so they could hear what Angela and Todd had to say and ask questions.
(please excuse the audio issues at the beginning of the meeting – it gets better)