The Ottawa River is now seeing higher water levels over the past few weeks resulting from the snow melt from the northern areas of the Ottawa River and higher than average rainfall over the past month.

This has resulted in significant flooding in the low-lying areas that are adjacent to the Ottawa River resulting in the flooding of some pathways and roadways.

To date, about 310 homes in the City of Ottawa have been directly affected by flooding and 75 families have been displaced.  275 of those homes are in West Carleton, 25 are in Cumberland and 10 are in Bay Ward.

While various city staff assist residents during this time, Revenue staff are preparing to mail out the final property tax bills to all residents of the city of Ottawa.  The property tax bills will be placed in the mail in approximately one week.

I am proposing that those residents affected or displaced by the flood have their final property tax due dates deferred to December 7, 2017 to mirror that of the City’s Farm Grant Program.  This will provide some temporary relief to residents most affected by the flood during this time of need so they can focus on  rebuilding their lives and properties.

Over the course of the next few months,  properties affected by the flood  will be identified and a process developed to extend the due dates.

I have asked Councillor Stephen Blais (Cumberland), seconded by Councillor Mark Taylor (Bay), to introduce a motion at Council on Wednesday that will direct staff to develop the tax deferral program over the course of the next 30 days and to bring it back to Council via FEDCO for final approval.

I will be asking that Council waive the Rules of procedure to allow for immediate consideration of this motion and to fast-track the implementation of the tax deferral program for residents impacted by the 2017 flood.

 As Councillor El-Chantiry has been personally affected by the flooding, he has advised us that he has a conflict of interest in this matter, so please do not include him in your discussions on this initiative.