Spring run-off has forced officials to hit pause on the on-going drain restoration work left over in the R.M. of Morris after last year's unexpected flood.

"We are fairly optimistic that this year will not flood significantly," said Reeve Scott Siemens. "As soon as it dries up, hopefully in the next three weeks or so, maybe sooner, we can begin that again."

As of last July, the cost of damage in the R.M. of Morris was pegged at about $20 million. In August, the Municipality reported that 40 million kgs of debris had been collected so far. This week, Siemens confirmed about 50 per cent of the drains still needed to be cleaned out. 

"We just just over two hundred miles of drains that need to be cleaned up still," he noted. "As far as culvert repairs, we are down to a handful I'm told. And yes, crews are still going around and identifying any sites that may have been missed."

Meantime, R.M. of Morris Council wants the provincial and federal governments to help cover some of the carrying costs of disaster clean up. Council has passed a resolution requesting the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) and Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) lobby both levels of government for a change to their respective disaster financial assistance programs.
Siemens explained, interest charges being incurred by the Municipality are currently not eligible.

"Our budget has had to increase," he said. "We've budgetted around three hundred thousand dollars in addition this year of operating expenses in order to cover those interest charges. Typically, the DFA claims are all covered but we must pay for them before we get reimbursed, thus the interest charges."

In speaking with officials from neighbouring municipalities at the recent AMM spring convention, siemens says there appears to be a fair amount of suport for such a request, and he expects a number of them to sign on to the resolution as well.

To hear more with Reeve Siemens, tune in to the latest episode of Reeve on Radio.

~Written with files from Chris Sumner ~