ALBERTA

Calgary Flood Spending Costs On The Rise As Council Approves Additional $95 Million

09/04/2013 01:01 EDT | Updated 09/04/2013 01:11 EDT
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Residents stand near rising waters before the Olympic Saddledome (background) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, June 21, 2013. Flooding forced the evacuation on Friday of some 100,000 people in the western city of Calgary and nearby towns in the heart of the Canadian oil patch. AFP PHOTO / DAVE BUSTON (Photo credit should read DAVE BUSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

The tally of Calgary flood costs continue to rise, as city council's finance committee approved an additional $95.6 million for flood repairs.

Council voted Tuesday to add $10 million for fixes at the Bonnybrook Wastewaster Treatment Plant, $16.6 million for repairs at the Calgary Zoo, $9 million for erosion work on the Bow River and an extra $1 million to mend pedestrian bridges along the city's rivers, among other projects, reports CBC Calgary.

According to Global News, the newly approved spending will be added to the $87 million already spent on repairs since June's devastating floods, and aldermen have been warned that another $241 million in rebuilding costs will have to be approved in coming years.

“When you go through a catastrophe like we went through, flexibility is needed,” city manager Owen Tobert told council Tuesday.

According to the Calgary Sun, Nenshi told aldermen Tuesday $51 million spent so far won't be covered by other governments or insurance -- even though the money went toward lost revenue and overtime pay for employees reassigned duties during the state of emergency.

“It would seem that past experience from the province (is) it’s our contribution to the recovery,” Tobert told the Calgary Herald.

And despite the city's decision to earmark this year's $52 million in tax-hike proceeds for flood spending, it's not clear if that money will be used to cover the $51 million.

"Today is all about expenses, not about how we're going to pay for them, but learning about what we need to pay for," Nenshi said, according to CBC.

“Another discussion that council will have as we get into budget is which pot of money pays for which expense."

The Calgary Sun reports the current overall estimate for Calgary flood spending is now $530 million - including $70 million in overtime and lost revenue and $460 million in damage -- 80 per cent of which is expected to be covered by the provincial and federal governments.

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LOOK: Calgary Transit Before And After Flood

We don’t know the federal government’s share, we don’t know the provincial government’s share, we don’t know what the insurance companies will pay,” Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart, one of two aldermen who opposed the spending, told Metro Calgary

“There are just so many unknowns.”

Ald. Richard Pootmans also opposed the spending, despite supporting the earlier decision to put tax proceeds toward flood recovery, telling the Calgary Herald he's unsure where the cash will come from while the city tallies money owed by insurers and the province.

“We never really got the clarity I think we needed to have,” he said.

Ald. Shane Keating, who voted to approve the expenditure, told CBC he thinks it's unusual to approve the money not knowing where it will come from, but, "today we have to accept their opinion that the $96 million is required and we trust them to do that. Tomorrow we have to make sure that was an accurate assumption."

The move still needs to be approved at a full meeting of council.