A flood ravaged section of High River will not be rebuilt and standing structures will be removed as part of the town’s flood mitigation plan.

On Monday, Craig Snodgrass, the mayor of High River, announced the community of Wallaceville would be returned to its natural state as a measure aimed to provide increased flood protection to the town.

“The decision to return Wallaceville to an undeveloped state was not taken lightly,” said Snodgrass. “We do believe it is the responsible direction to take, and we know that the property owners need a decision so they can move forward.”

The section of High River, which stretches along Centre St. between the Lineham Canal and the Highwood River, sits at a critical choke point of the river. Officials believe the town would need to erect a 3.2 metre dike to protect the region from future flooding.

Wallaceville residents and business owners will be contacted by phone, email or door notification, advising them of the decision. Details on the purchase of properties will be announced in 2014, but town council says property evaluations will be based on 2013 municipal tax assessments.

Residents or business owners who have not returned to Wallaceville are encouraged to provide the Town of High River (403-603-3583 or renewal@highriver.ca) with their current contact details.