Flood costs in Sask. total $360M; tally expected to grow

Saskatchewan’s flood costs have ballooned to $360 million in the third-quarter financial report released Feb. 10 from a projected $244 million at mid-year.

Finance minister Ken Krawetz said those costs have been offset by a $193 million contribution from the federal government for its portion of cost-shared programs and a $120 million special dividend from Crown Investments Corporation, namely SaskPower.

The majority of the flood cost, $145.1 million, is related to claims for property damage under the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program. The federal government paid most of the $123.3 million under the PDAP sliding scale.

The costs will go higher.

“We’ve met the challenges in agriculture. We’ve met the challenges in PDAP,” Krawetz said. “There are still claims coming in and there will be additional dollars that will be expended into the future that will involve both the province and the federal government.”

He said highway development is an ongoing expense but flooding did cause unanticipated repair.

On the other hand, the abundance of water pushed SaskPower’s revenue higher because it was able to produce more hydroelectric power at a cheaper cost. The corporation’s revenue for the year will be well above $250 million and allowed for the special dividend, Krawetz said.

The general revenue fund is on track for a thin surplus of $56 million this year, he said.

He will announce the 2012-13 budget March 21.

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