If all goes according to plan, Greenwood will have its own revitalization tax exemption bylaw before the Nov. 15 election.
At its regular meeting on Tuesday night, Greenwood city council voted to direct staff to draft a final version of the bylaw based on a template of the bylaw in Salmon Arm instead of Vernon. (As Mayor Nipper Kettle owns a commercial building, he excused himself from the meeting during the discussion and vote.)
Council had sent an earlier draft based on the Vernon bylaw to BC Assessment Authority for comment. BC Assessment suggested the city use the Salmon Arm model because it contains language that defends the city’s position should property values fall dramatically.
“Under the Vernon formula, should the property values fall dramatically, the city could wind up owing the property owner money,” explained city administrator Robin Dalziel.
The bylaw will come back to council for first, second and third reading at the next council meeting, and can be adopted at the first meeting in November.
Any construction of new work or renovations started after July 1, 2014 will be eligible for consideration.
To be eligible for the tax exemption, a commercial property owner fronting the Hwy 3 corridor would need to invest a minimum of $200,000 in the case of new building construction, $50,000 for additions to an existing building, or $25,000 if renovating (either interior or exterior) existing buildings. The increase in property tax resulting from the improvements would be 100 per cent forgiven for the first five years following the improvements, falling to 80 per cent for year six, 60 per cent in year seven, then 40, 20 and finally in year 10, 10 per cent of the tax increase would be waived.
Councillor Coleen Lang reported that the Citizen’s on Patrol is actively patrolling again. She said RCMP Corporal Judson Mays had advised there have been recent reports of thefts happening in the area.
“Be vigilant and make sure personal property and belongings are locked and safe,” Lang said, adding that there have been reports of intruders entering property and carports in the wee hours of the morning; small items have been reported missing.
Council voted to defer their contribution to the Boundary Invasive Species Society until January 2015. The group is asking for $1,100—$600 for their usual annual program and another $500 to help fund an inventory of aquatic invasive species in the Boundary.
Because the suggested date for the Greenwood All Candidate Forum conflicts with a meeting of the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District (Kettle sits at that table), council voted to ask the Board of Trade to postpone the date until Oct. 29.
The city will have a Halloween Party this year. Council approved spending up to $1,400 for the evening; $1,000 to be spent on fireworks.
A bylaw was passed authorizing 2015 and 2016 property tax exemptions for properties used for public worship, non-profits and the parking lot beside McArthur Centre which the city leases.