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Municipal Government Issues First Rebuild Permits

The first rebuild permits have been issued by the municipal government, paving the way for the community to start recovering from the devastating wildfire, but some are critical and say that the process is taking too long. The very first person to be issued a rebuild permit, who also ironically was the first one to receive a demolition permit after the wildfire destroyed much of the Wood Buffalo area, was Vis-Star Homes Ltd. Owner and homebuilder in Fort McMurray Darrin Eckel. The home that Eckel owned in Wood Buffalo was rented out to tenants at the time of the wildfire, and the property was completely destroyed. Eckel told the media “Next year is going to be hectic. Everyone wants to get going right now, but in the actual process, some people will have to wait until the following year.”

So far more than half a dozen rebuild permits have been issued by the municipal government, while the wildfire in May completely destroyed a total of 1,958 buildings between Fort McMurray and Anzac. Some of these buildings contained multiple apartment units and the community lost more than 2,500 residences and a total of 23 commercial buildings and spaces. More than 1,000 demolition permits have been filed with the municipality and more than 80% have been approved so far. Next spring a construction boom is expected, bring a new set of problems. According to Eckel “It’s going to be long. We never built 2,000 homes in one year, not even in the heavy days of construction in 2006-2007. I’ve been part of our building community for some time. We have a great building community. We know the processes.”

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