By Chad Ingram
Published May 12 2017
Minden Hills residents who've beenaffected by the flood can now apply for disaster relief assistancefrom the provincial government.
Municipal Affairs minister Bill Maurowas in Minden on the afternoon of Friday May 12.
“About fifteen minutes to half anhour ago we received formal notice from my office in Toronto that wehave formally activated the Ontario Disaster Assistance ReliefProgram for your community” Mauro said at a press conferenceoutside the municipal office.
Earlier this week Haliburton-KawarthaLakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott asked Mauro in Queen's Park if thegovernment would activate the assistance program.
“Will the minister enact the disasterrelief assistance program immediately to Minden Hills so thepeople will know that the government will provide assistance to thoseaffected?” Scott said. " You need to do it now minister.”
“The answer is simply no no I won'tactivate the program right now” Mauro responded in thelegislature at the time. “The assessment team needs to have the ability to geton the ground and create an assessment and find an area of geographyand delineate the range and where and who might be eligible.”
Mauro reiterated that point in Mindenon Friday afternoon.
“The emergency may be obvious on theground but to activate the program we're trying to delineate anarea of geography” he said.
The Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontario program replaced the former legislation under whichthe community needed to raise money for funding matching. Nocommunity fundraising is required under the new program.
Residents and business owners who'vebeen affected by the flood can register for the program on theMinistry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.
Levels on the Gull River had fallen twoto three centimetres between Thursday and Friday. On whether this meansthe river has officially crested Reeve Brent Devolin said he had noofficial comment.
Devolin has been on daily conference calls with reps from the Trent Severn Waterway.
Many roads in Minden remain closed totraffic including the downtown strip of Bobcaygeon Road.
The township has also erected signagethat the bridge is closed to pedestrian use. The Loggers' Crossingfootbridge is also closed.
As for when these restrictions mightbe lifted Devolin said “As soon as we have a certain level ofcomfort that nothing's happening for at least 24 hours and we don'thave any surprises in weather we will be happy to deconstruct whatwe've done on a staged retreat.”
A flood warning remains in effect forHaliburton County and some rainfall is anticipated during theweekend.
Look for extended flood coverage innext week's Times .