Lacombe Councillor Jonathan Jacobson’s motion to ” direct administration to research and present options for instituting a redevelopment levy in strategic areas of the city” has been accepted unanimously by council and to the surprise of Jacobson, administration was already working on a similar initiative.
“It was a real positive feedback and I was actually more pleased that administration has already done most of the legwork on this behind the scenes,” he said.
Jacobson put no timeline into his motion, expecting administration would require some time to formulate a proposal but administration expects to have something later in 2020.
“It is great they will have something relatively soon,” he said.
City of Lacombe Director of Operations and Planning Services Jordan Thompson said a Infrastructure Growth and Infill Master Plan was include dint he City of Lacombe 2020 Capital Budget.
“If a certain area in Lacombe intensifies which creates a demand on the water system or the road network enough to upgrade those systems, we want to understand that infrastructure needs to be upgraded and then look at mechanisms to ensure the ultimate benefiting party — the developer or in some cases the final purchaser — is bearing the cost of the upgrades,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the need for a plan came after several instances where the city needed to negotiate with developers the cost of developing needed infrastructure in a community that is often unknown before a project begins.
“It is something we have identified as a need prior to counsellor Jacobson’s motion and we have put in place plans for that. We were pleased to see that plan come forward and see council supports. It shows administration is in line with council’s expectations on this matter,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the plan will benefit taxpayers in that costs for needed infrastructure will be shared with developers who will benefit from them, rather than simply taxpayers.
“What this will do is it will take portion of the upgrade ans shares the cost directly with developers. The general taxpayer is not paying the full cost of any upgrade associated with redevelopment,” he said.