Provincial Disaster Assistance Program

Res #: 19-12M
Number: 19
Year: 2012
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Government Relations

WHEREAS the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) provides financial assistance to municipalities to restore local community services or any property of the municipality that is damaged or lost because of a natural disaster; and

WHEREAS PDAP currently requires a municipality to pay the deductible each year, even in second or subsequent years of flooding related to rainfall or spring runoff; and

WHEREAS the advance payment of a claim, which is 60% of the total estimate minus the deductible, is an insufficient upfront amount for a municipality doing its own repairs; and

WHEREAS land accesses are not currently eligible for PDAP assistance, even though they are important access points for agricultural operations which are eligible for assistance; and

WHEREAS “wet spots” and “frost boils” are not eligible for PDAP assistance even though they result from high water tables and can compromise a road to the same magnitude as flooding;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government for the following changes to the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program:

• The deductible be waived for municipalities on the second and subsequent years of flooding related to rainfall or spring runoff; and

• That regional differences be recognized and that repairs be based on those regional conditions; and

• That a process be developed to ensure timely responses to municipalities on their claims; and

• That land accesses be recognized as agricultural operation access and those lands be considered as eligible roads under the program; and

• That severe “wet spots” and “frost boils” be included as compensatable damages; and

• That funding be available for projects where eligible infrastructure lost can be upgraded to mitigate future events; and

• There be no depreciation on culverts.

Response from Honourable Jim Retier, Minister of Government Relations:

PDAP is a disaster assistance program and is not intended to reimburse claimants for all expenses, and in an effort to further enhance the program for municipalities, deductibles were significantly reduced in 2010.

The payment of a single deductible in a fiscal year is not considered a financial hardship for municipalities. Deductibles, based on 0.1 per cent of local assessment reflect a municipality’s ability to pay.

Regional factors are already taken into account within PDAP; municipal repairs will return damaged infrastructure to pre-disaster condition or to established standards for that jurisdiction. Some geographic regions may have different construction standards based on local needs.

PDAP has undergone major enhancements to overall claim management. This includes a more streamlined process with more staff, better technology, etc. In addition, PDAP now provides cash advances to municipalities as well as progress payments for completed work. Federal guidelines (and therefore PDAP) consider only the following roads as eligible for cost-recovery:
• Roads/highways on inventory and maintained by a provincial ministry;
• Roads/highways on inventory of a municipality, regional municipality, county, etc., that are theirs to maintain; and
• Multiple-use privately constructed that are used by both industry and the general public (municipality agrees to maintain).

“Wet spots” and “frost boils” are not directly related to a disaster and they are considered as routine repair items for roads in the province.