Council working on growth incentive plan

Council directed administration to prepare a policy for the Community Growth Incentive Plan based on the outline provided by the Economic Development Committee on March 21, 2019.

Forestburg village administration presented a draft of the Community Growth Incentive Policy based on the outline provided by the Economic Development Committee on March 21, for review at the regular council meeting on May 2.

The incentive program would award current residents and business owners who are instrumental in bringing new residents and/or businesses to Forestburg.

Some of the proposed incentives highlighted were, if a family of two or more purchases an existing home and relocates to Forestburg, the person who invited them here would receive a $500 property tax or utility credit.

If a family of two or more builds a new home, the incentive would be $1,000 property tax or utility credit.

If a new business opens which employs two or more employees, a $1,000 property tax or utility credit would be given.

A new business being built and becoming operational would result in a $2,000 property tax or utility credit for the person who issued the invitation to relocate.

If an established business expands or builds, a tax credit is negotiated depending on the value of the build and the number of additional staff hired.

The policy is also proposing that a current resident or business is eligible to receive the Community Growth Incentive for each separate family and/or business which relocates to Forestburg.

The community growth must also occur within six months of invitation to visit and/or relocate to Forestburg. Council recommended that administration make additional changes to the policy and present the amended policy at a future Council meeting.

Patio opening

Council approved the request from Manyhorses Saloon to close the laneway adjacent to their property located at 5004-50 Avenue from May 1 to Sept. 30 to allow the business to utilize this space as an outdoor patio.

A condition to temporarily fence the area was put in place to ensure that there is a physical barrier between patrons and the general public.

Community Standards

Bylaw to be amended Administration recommended to council that the Community Standards Bylaw be amended so that it can be enforced without the need for a written complaint from a resident.

The purpose of this bylaw is to regulate the conduct and activities of people on privately-owned property and adjacent areas to promote the safe, enjoyable and reasonable use of such property for the benefit of all citizens of the village.

Currently, residents must submit their complaints in writing for unsightly properties, noise levels, and more, before administration can take action.

The matter was tabled until a later date when all council members are present.

Sharing garbage bins creates concern

In an attempt to reduce operating costs, some commercial property owners have resolved the issue of paying monthly garbage fees by sharing garbage bins.

Council discussed the concern that more businesses might opt out of paying garbage fees which might create issues in the future.

For each property that does not pay the monthly garbage fee of $35.80, the village has to re-allocate the cost back to the properties that do pay garbage fees.

Businesses that have bins from Flagstaff Waste pay landfill fees in the rental of that bin when they contract it from Flagstaff Waste, but do not pay the $429.60 per year that Forestburg residents pay to the village.

Municipal garbage fees are requisitioned on a per capita basis.

Administration was advised by council to revisit the bylaw at the 2020 budget deliberations in September.

 

Jody Pettigrew

ECA Review

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