Wallaceville flood victims unhappy with buyout offer

Some residents of the Wallaceville neighbourhood in High River are unhappy with the Alberta government's offer to buy their flood-damaged homes at market value. The mayor says the town will consider expropriation if the residents do not accept the offer.

Provincial funds not enough for some in devastated High River neighborhood

Some residents of a High River neighborhood are unhappy with the government's buyout offer. 1:54

Some residents of the Wallaceville neighbourhood in High River are unhappy with the provincial government's offer to buy their flood-damaged homes.

Earlier this week, the province offered to buy the homes based on 2013 property assessments. 

The town says Wallaceville is at high risk for flooding because it sits next to a choke point along the Highwood River.

The plan to mitigate future floods includes widening the river — and that requires the demolition of the homes in Wallaceville.

But some residents say the offer is insufficient because they have incurred significant costs since the flood.

Homeowner Doug Grafton says the offer doesn't take into account the loss of thousands of dollars worth of possessions.

"Most people have a home for seven years, they typically walk away with a bit of a profit," says Grafton. "They don't walk away losing $100,000."

Local resident Victor Dyck says the provincial government should also reimburse homeowners for their renovation costs.

"They told us we had to rebuild, there was no option on buyout and we started rebuilding and now if they're going to change their mind someone has to cover (that)."

High River Mayor Craig Snodgrass says he doubts the homeowners will get a better offer.

The mayor also says the town will consider expropriating the properties at market value if the owners reject the province's buyout offer.


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