Frustrations rise along with floodwaters

ROUND LAKE CENTRE – Hundreds of frustrated ratepayers gathered in the basement of St. Casimir’s parish in Round Lake Centre on April 30 for a public meeting hosted by the Township of Killaloe-Hagarty-Richards (KHR) Township.

They were there to learn about any kind of funding available by the province after recent floods destroyed many properties, specifically in the Golden Lake and Round Lake regions.

KHR Mayor Janice Visneskie Moore, who recently lost her home after floodwaters caused an electrical fire, led the meeting.

“I called a public meeting because I felt that you needed to talk to us and we needed to talk to you,” she said.

Staff members were recording questions and comments from the public, and all members of council attended. Visneskie Moore said even the Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro called her that morning to make sure that the community was looked after.

“I know a lot of you are asking why the municipality did not declare a state of emergency during the recent high water and flooding,” she said. “I consulted with all of my council members, and they agreed that if it was necessary to declare, I had their full support.”

In the past, the municipality had to declare a state of emergency so that private landowners could apply to the previous Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program, which provided financial assistance.

That program changed last year, and the new rules do not require a state of emergency to be declared for private citizens to qualify for the program.

“That’s why I decided not to call the emergency,” she said.

Get your May 3, 2017 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full article.