Channel Clearing Program

Res #: 28-02M
Number: 28
Year: 2002
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Environment

Resolution No. 28-02M

WHEREAS, brush and silt removal projects will receive priority in the consideration of applications under the Channel Clearing Assistance Program for rural municipalities in 2002/2003; and

WHEREAS, the number of these applications will utilize the entire available budget; and 

WHEREAS, many municipalities have included grant funds in their 2002 budgets for beaver dam removal and culvert cleaning;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the Provincial Government for additional funds to be allocated to the Channel Clearing Assistance Program for 2002/2003 to help offset the high costs of beaver control in rural municipalities.

Response From the Honourable Buckley Belanger:

The Honourable Ron Osika requested that I reply to your November 19, 2002 letter since the Channel Clearing Program is now managed by the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority. I note that Resolution 28-02M passed at SARM's Midterm Convention requests additional funding be allocated in 2002 – 03 to the Channel Clearing Program to help offset the high costs of beaver control incurred by RMs.

As you may know the Channel Clearing Assistance for Rural Municipalities Program is intended to provide assistance to remove brush, remove silt and remove beaver dams to address immediate flooding problems. Assistance of up to 50% of eligible costs can be provided. In 2002-03, 70 rural municipalities applied for $246,520 for channel clearing projects to remove brush, remove silt and remove beaver dams; however, the budget available for the channel clearing program in 2002-03 is $77,000.

In order to manage the program within the available budget, the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority (Authority) had to determine how to prioritize the applications received. The removal of brush and silt from channels was given first priority this year compared to the removal of beaver dams. One factor considered was that beaver dams could be a source of water in some areas of the province due to the below normal spring runoff and rainfall. The result of this prioritization was that application from 27 municipalities were approved.

Although it is not possible to increase the Channel Clearing Program budget for 2002 – 03, I have been advised that the Authority will determine, in January 2003, whether or not the projects that have approved will need all of the allocated budget. If the RMs with approved applications do not require the full budget, the Authority will determine the possibility of allocating the unused budget to the RMs that had applied for assistance to remove beaver dams. you can expect to be contacted directly by the Authority when their assessment of the expenditures and the budget has been completed.