Parks Canada gets behind flood mapping project
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | November 9, 2017
Parks Canada is backing the County of Haliburton’s efforts to secure about $180,000 from the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) for flood plain mapping.
Councillors were happy to learn about the endorsement, which came from the Ontario Waterways director’s office last month.
“A lot of people have been at this … for a long time in Haliburton County,” said Coun. Carol Moffatt during a recent meeting. “I feel like we’re finally getting somewhere.”
“This is wonderful to see,” added County Warden Brent Devolin.
According to planning director Charlsey White, the county had to first apply to partner with the provincial government for funding from the federal program.
“The province has identified that they support our proposal and have forwarded it to Public Safety Canada for consideration,” said White on Nov. 6. “It is estimated that we could hear in the spring 2018 as to which candidate(s) partnerships are successful.”
Municipalities must first gain support from the province, explained White. The county’s proposal was one of the few to advance.
“Each province selects projects for submission,” she said.
It’s likely the county will apply for more money in the future when another round of funding opens up.
In July, council gave White the go-ahead to apply for 50 per cent funding. Using Laser Detection and Ranging (LADAR) or Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology, the county will get an accurate 3D image of the topography of the Gull and Burnt River watersheds, and the reservoir lakes and channels. This will help to implement effective flood mitigation techniques.
In the letter, director Jewel Cunningham said the data will also benefit her organization. “Accurate information about current conditions, such as water levels/flows, weather forecasts, and the extent of surrounding flood plains, is especially critical to our water management operations during high water events,” said Cunningham.
The letter was sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Ministry of Housing.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.