Back in January CTV News reported that the town of Aurora called on the province to declare the town a disaster area after the pre-Christmas ice storm so that it would qualify for the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program to help cover some costs of the damage with early estimates at $130,000: http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/mobile/aurora-looks-for-disaster-relief-funding-after-tallying-ice-storm-damage-1.1637888
The Auroran followed up that report two days later with this piece: http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=5189
Later in February The Error provided an update covering the $190 Million Ice Storm Assistance Program here:
It reported that Markham and Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Whitchurch-Stouffville, King and Newmarket requested help through the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program.
Curiously Aurora is not mentioned.
As we approach the 1 year anniversary the Toronto Star has reported today that the $190-million Ice Storm Assistance Program, distinct from the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program has not been paid out: http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/12/05/190million_ice_storm_aid_unclaimed_by_ontario_municipalities.html
We learn in this piece that Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin has blamed municipalities for not completing and filing detailed applications.
Guidelines for the program were released in May and a deadline for claims was set for August 31st as I could find in an attachment to Mississauga’s council agenda:
It appears that deadline was extended to October 31st and again to December 31st.
There are six conservation authorities looking for money but none of them has filed an application and only one of 53 municipalities has completed the necessary paper work.
Aurora isn’t that municipality.
The obvious question is why not?
In a post on council highlights Mayor Dawe touched on the matter in a blog post here: http://geoffdawe.ca/aurora-special-council-highlights-january-10-2014/ claiming:
As part of the motion approved by Council, the Town will also consider funding from the federal and provincial governments in addition to that provided by ODRAP.
If there was a motion approved by council to seek out disaster relief funding then why has the Town of Aurora failed to submit an application with a mere 19 days left before the deadline?
Especially after the Municipal Affairs Minister has stated: “We’ve not had a single municipality complain about the process to date,”.
Someone appears to have dropped the snowball on keeping council and residents in the loop on this whole mess.