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GPC gets update on offsite levy increase

Council has accepted the 2021 Offsite Levy Update as information and asked that it be brought forward to a future Council meeting for a decision.

At Monday’s GPC meeting at City Hall, Administration brought the proposal forward for discussion.

Mayor Gerald Aalbers noted that as new properties are brought into the city, the cost of connecting things like water and sewer could run anywhere from $40 to 50,000 per hectare. Also, Council has been facing this matter since 2017 and the previous levy needed to be updated.

“We were at over $200,00 a hectare. Now after the revisions and the work that has been done by City Administration, we see a much more level number of $158,000 and change, from $112,000. Again people say that’s a big jump. But when you divide that over a number of houses per hectare, it’s not as big as it seems.”

Aalbers addressed the concerns of land developers and noted that the City will also be affected as it is also a developer. He noted the challenge of who will have to pay for infrastructure installation as prices continue to escalate. However he sees developers as being better placed to recover the cost going forward.

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“There is a challenge. Because who pays for development? Who pays for that new infrastructure? The developers do stand the best opportunity of cost recovery because they will be selling those lots, where as the City will look to the taxpayers otherwise.”

Aalbers said the discussion at the GPC meeting centred on what was a realistic number given the comparison to other jurisdictions, before signing off on bringing this matter back to Council for a final determination.

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