City decides on mitigation measures for boundary extensions

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

They include phasing in property taxes over five years, and a reduction in charges at the Rural Water Station and Sewer Transfer Station. 

The difference between the cost for city residents and the rural rate will be reimbursed to property owners on a semi-annual basis. In 2014, that would be the difference between $3 per cubic metre for rural residents and $1.28 in the city. 

The reduction will cease once the property is connected to the City’s water and sewer system. The ability to connect would be dependent on a Local Area Service Program, if residents request the service, and more than 50 per cent of landowners approve the cost. 

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The phased in property tax rate would apply, unless the land is rezoned or subdivided, has its use changed, or gets connected to municipal water and sewer services at the landowner’s request.  A previous suggestion for it to no longer apply if the property title owner changes was removed.

The existing land use for the properties will be grandfathered in until they are rezoned. 

92 owners of 182 properties are affected by the city’s current proposed boundary extension to the west and southwest of Fort St. John. The representatives of 121 of those properties have indicated they are opposed to the proposal, while four are in support and three would support it conditionally. One property with multiple owners was split between conditional support and opposition, and 23 properties did not respond to a survey. The 30 properties owned by B.C. Hydro are considered neutral.

$150,000 is allotted in the proposed 2014 operating budget for boundary extension, which is not just for its current proposed application, but as the City continues to receive applications for inclusion, it could consider others in the near future. 

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