A lack of federal grant opportunities has stalled some of the city's work to lessen the damage caused by overflowing rivers in local neighbourhoods.
In 2010, the city outlined a handful of projects designed to protect at-risk areas from flooding, but a variety of them can't move forward without external funding.
"The last time was had a grant program was 2010 and that was the year we applied for the River Road dike," explained city utilities manager Dave Dyer. "Since then, there has not been an intake of new applications, so we haven't had the opportunity to apply."
Among the still-to-be completed projects are design work for a diking project and possible flood proofing for South Fort George, as well as protection for PG Pulp Mill Road, Morning Place and the Preston Road area.
But the challenge is not only from a lack of senior government funding, Dyer explained. It also comes from the local community.
In 2009, a report by Northwest Hydraulic Consultants outlined a variety of flood risk areas and recommended a variety of ways to ease the flood pain. Dyer said the input received from public consultations at the time the report was completed suggested that affected residents didn't want much to be changed.
"Even though they had been exposed to flooding, they didn't want a dike in front of their property. If they were living there, they didn't necessarily want to move," he said.
But there is still a need to have options and information for those who need it. Dyer said during those initial public sessions, there were people wondering what they could do.
"The information like that, where people could decide they want to jack up their house and get rid of their basement and not have to worry about flooding and be above the flood plain ... and spend some money on it at their own cost, we would be able to help them with that kind of information if they feel it's worth their while," he said.
But the ability to research and design any options requires funding first.
"We just want to be able to have some discussion to give people options. They may decide that they don't want to live in that area anymore and maybe there's some options with regard to land use change, but I think those are tough discussions because there's no compensation money," he said.
Properties located in a floodplain have a lower value, which make them difficult to sell. And while the ideal long-term plan for the city would be to acquire those at-risk properties to get people away from flooding, there isn't the money to do that either, Dyer said.
"There is no senior government funding for that sort of stuff [land acquisition]. The municipality is very challenged as it is to find funding for other things," he said.
The flood mitigation projects that did manage to reach completeion were the reconstruction of River Road, restoring Cottonwod Island and updated flood plain mapping.
Those maps, which are attached to the city's flood plain regulation bylaw, made it easier for staff to determine how much water a property owner might expect to see on their property. The information is also included on the city's online PGMap.
Still underway is an erosion hazard mapping project - which Dyer said should be coming before council soon - and the Queensway dike assessment that has reached the draft stage.
There is also a possibility for a riverbed survey to take place, if it can be done with operating funds, instead of grant funding, Dyer said.