Local improvement tax could allow for piped services to Hwy 2/27
Landowners in the Netook Crossing Business Park may have to consider paying a local improvement tax in order to get piped water and sewer services to the Highway 2 and Highway 27 area.
Mountain View County councillors are expected to consider an administration report concerning a local improvement tax next week.
“We’ve been racking our brains with what to do with 2 and 27. I think council says make development pay for development,” said Div. 6 councillor Paddy Munro during last Wednesday’s regular council meeting.
Munro motioned to have CAO Tony Martens bring back a report on a local improvement tax for the Highway 2 and 27 area by the April 18 policies and priorities meeting. Council voted unanimously in favour of the motion.
The area’s developers have been in discussion with county council and administration for some time now to arrange for municipal sewer and water services to be piped to the emerging business park from Olds. It is a key part of the park’s plan and that of a proposed residential area near it.
Last August councillors discussed implementing an offsite levy for land in the area to pay for the estimated $45 million cost of extending piped services to the area from Olds. A majority of councillors at that time said they weren’t in favour of piped services to the area.
Developers say the viability of the their development projects is in danger without piped services.
“We’ve spent hours and days discussing this,” said Munroe. “I believe we just have to ask them, do they want to pay? The answer is yes or no.”
Council has nixed the idea of the county paying for the whole shot.
“It shouldn’t be a farmer out in Kevin’s division (Div. 1 Councillor Kevin Good) that should be paying for this,” Munroe said during last week’s discussion on the topic.
He gave several examples of how sewer and water services were provided in some Red Deer County business park areas. They included both piped services as well as individual water wells and private septic services.
Not all property owners can make the business case for paying a local improvement tax in order to get piped services, he said.
Councillor Good gave the only other opinion on the subject during the council discussion, alluding to the fact that a local improvement tax may not be affordable for all.
“You can have good industrial development, commercial development without (piped) sewer and water. It is a possibility,” he said.