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Elk Point council adds Non-Residential development to Tax Incentive Bylaw

The Town of Elk Point’s Machinery and Equipment Tax Incentive Bylaw passed in 2022 was back on Town Council’s table at the June 24 meeting.
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ELK POINT – The Town of Elk Point’s Machinery and Equipment Tax Incentive Bylaw passed in 2022 was back on Town Council’s table at the June 24 meeting, along with amendments that would further encourage development and redevelopment in the community. 

Prepared by the town’s solicitor, Amendment Bylaw 892/24 allows council to give full or partial tax concessions to non-residential development as well as to the machinery and equipment included in the previous bylaw. 

To be considered for the concessions, the development or redevelopment of a property must be, in the opinion of council, for the general benefit of the municipality, according to the reworked bylaw.

Council passed all three readings to approve the amendment bylaw.

Fire and water

Fire, water and finances were also on the agenda of the short council meeting that began at 5 p.m. to accommodate hockey fans and the final Stanley Cup game.

A new water reservoir, estimated to cost $7.7 million, a new sewer trunk line with an estimated $6.4 million price tag and the purchase of a replacement fire pumper, with options ranging from $885,980 to $1,158,900 were up for discussion, with both Manager of Operations Jay Duffee and Fire Chief Bryce Osinchuk on hand to give their input regarding the need for the upgrades.

The current Town-owned pumper truck is nearing the cutoff date for replacement, despite only adding up close to 1,100 hours of service over the 25 years. The more costly option, a Spartan Custom with a tighter turning radius, more manoeuvrability and a roomier cab to transport more firefighters, was up for discussion along with the lower priced Freightliner, with councillors agreeing they could not justify the extra expense, although Deputy Mayor Wanda Cochrane did express hope that that the lower priced equipment wouldn’t deter volunteers from joining the department.

Fire Chief Osinchuk asked to get the Freightliner as soon as possible, to not only comply with the deadline but also to avoid price increases, and council passed a motion for administration and the fire chief to prepare a tender to obtain bids on the purchase of a new pumper truck.

Council also agreed to have administration apply for an Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) grant in collaboration with the County of St. Paul and Frog Lake First Nations, with the town as the managing partner, for the design for the new water reservoir. The Local Government Fiscal Framework (KGFF) allocation has been confirmed for 2024 and 2025 and an application has been submitted for the water reservoir project. 

Further discussion on the sewer trunk line was deferred to a later date, council agreeing that if Lot 15 is sold, it would cover a substantial portion development costs.

Portage College

Portage College president and CAO Nancy Broadbent, Assistant Dean of Economic Development Joanne Metchooyeah and Community Adult Learning instructor Sandra Bishop visited council to provide a comprehensive update on the courses available and proposed across the region, and discussed the impacts these could have on the need for qualified workers in many areas across northeast Alberta.

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