New levies proposed to cover costs in Gasoline Alley
Red Deer County is proposing a new range of levies to pay for the cost of developing the fast-growing Gasoline Alley area.
An offsite levy bylaw was given first reading on Tuesday and will come back to council for debate on Oct. 1. Offsite levies are typically charged on a per-acre or hectare basis to developers to cover the cost of building roads, sewers and water lines to serve their projects.
To cover the cost of supplying just under $48 million worth of anticipated roadwork, property developers will pay $17,709 per acre. Supplying water service to the same 2,700 acres of land will cost an estimated $21.2 million and developers will face a $7,852 per acre levy.
About a dozen other levies have also been worked out for specific servicing projects.
Mayor Jim Wood said while some levies will likely jump sharply, he anticipates Gasoline Alley businesses and future developers will support the county’s approach.
“We’ve looked at the numbers there and what we see is a significant increase in what those levies will be when people do their development in this region to recoup the county’s costs.
“The idea behind this is so that all the residents from across the county don’t pick up the tab for development. People who do the development pay their own way.”
Wood believes most business people recognize that if they want good infrastructure, they have to pay their share.
“Our money that we put into infrastructure increases the value of their properties.
“I think it’s a fair tradeoff and I don’t expect push back from it.
“I expect the people within the area will be glad to see the investment we make.”
Part of the reason that levies will jump so much is it has been about five years since they were last calculated and construction costs have risen.