Jennifer Rice is the North Coast MLA in addition to the parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)

$8.3 million for Lytton recovery announced by Rice

Some funds to off-set tax loses

More than $8.3 million in funding was announced by Jennifer Rice, parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness, to support the continued recovery of the Village of Lytton on Feb. 9.

The funding will be split between immediate wildfire response and recovery costs as well as operational funding.

“We know there is a lot of work that still needs to be done, and our government is committed to supporting this recovery,” Rice said. “As recovery liaisons to the Village of Lytton, parliamentary secretary Roly Russell and I are supporting the village as it recovers from a devastating wildfire. This funding support from our government and the re-establishment of their bylaws are two significant and positive steps in their recovery.”

The larger portion of the funds, $6.26 million, will go toward fixing the water and wastewater system, legal and governance issues, recovery consultation, debris removal, environmental and archeological remediation and more, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs stated on Feb. 9.

The remaining $2.1 million will bolster the severely reduced revenues from the loss of the municipality’s property tax base. This added funding will support core operation for three years.

“In addition, legislative changes will enable the village’s council to repeal and replace bylaws that were destroyed in the catastrophic fire on June 30, 2021,” the ministry stated referring to physical records.

The coming legislative changes will further support Lytton in its continued recovery.

“All of the village’s records and backup servers were lost during the fire, and the content of many existing bylaws remains unknown. Legislative amendments introduced will give council clarity and enable it to take steps toward recreating a full suite of bylaws to support governance and administration,” the ministry stated.

Of the 187 damaged residential and business properties during the 2021 wildfires, 124 (66 per cent) were damaged or destroyed.

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Norman Galimski | Journalist
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