Saskatchewan

Regina Beach, Sask. residents asking for help with slumping land

Regina Beach, Sask., residents have formed a group in an effort to pressure levels of government for assistance.

Crews in Regina Beach busy working on water diversion to prevent further damage

Ian Stewart shows various slumping, cracks, and damage on his Regina Beach property. (Craig Edwards/CBC)

Slumping land at Regina Beach, Sask. has residents more frustrated than ever.

A number of homes and cottages are slowly falling apart, and homeowners trace it back to a rainy 2013.

Ian Stewart calls it a "slow motion disaster." Stewart, who has owned a Regina Beach home for more than 20 years, said his property is cracking and leaning.

Stewart and some fellow residents have formed a group in an effort to pressure levels of government for assistance and better communication.

Ian Stewart shows one spot where his Regina Beach house is cracking. (Craig Edwards/CBC)

"Everyone's all on their own," Stewart said. "After all these years, we're starting to feel like we're lost in the shuffle."

Scott Schroeder bought his home in Regina Beach three and a half years ago. Now, he's busy tearing it down.

"It's been a tough one," Schroeder said. "I really don't know what really to say honestly. It's been difficult."

Scott Schroeder bought his home in Regina Beach three and a half years ago. (Craig Edwards/CBC)

Schroeder and his wife are renting a place in Regina through the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program while they decide on what's next.

After all these years, we're starting to feel like we're lost in the shuffle.- Ian Stewart, resident

"(Regina Beach) seemed like a nice escape from the city. Just get away for a little while and relax. But it hasn't exactly been relaxing that's for sure.

Adding to the frustration, ground shifting has caused a number of water main breaks over the past several months. 

'Time is not on our side'

Crews in Regina Beach are busy working on water diversion with a focus on the troubled eastern side of the community.

"The biggest thing the town is doing is providing drainage in order to remove the water before it gets in the ground and just makes the ground shifting worse than it already is," said Claude Séguin, Manager of Public Works and Facilities for the town.

"Regina Beach is part of the Qu'Appelle Valley and has been experiencing ground shifting for centuries," said Séguin. "But in the last 10 years and certainly the last two years, the ground shifting has been much more significant and profound."
Crews are busy working to divert water and ease ground shifting. (Craig Edwards/CBC)

Séguin said the town came up with a long-term strategy to try and divert the water into the lake, but it has not received funding from any level of government for the project.

The town pegged the overall cost between $12 and $14 million dollars.

"Time is not on our side and we need to advance quicker than not," Séguin said.

Province pays more than $2 million in disaster assistance to residents

The province deemed the June 2014 rain event as a natural disaster, which allowed both the town of Regina Beach and residents to apply for disaster assistance.

"We've received 95 claims from individuals. Majority of those we have completed and closed those ones out and made payment on," said Assistant Deputy Minister of Government Relations Laurier Donais. "We've paid out just over $2 million on those claims."

In order to be eligible to make a claim, the damaged home must be a primary residence. The claim only affects the value of the house and not the land value. The maximum payment is $240,000.

Donais said the province has also received claims from the town and closed some of those files with payments.

"We do have a very good working relationship with the town of Regina Beach," said Donais. "We continue to work with them in the future on those claims."

Regina Beach is about 50 kilometres northwest of Regina.

With files from CBC's Adam Hunter

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