Council Committee of the Whole Budget Deliberations Off-Site Levy (OSL) Rate Review
This is part of the proposed budget which will be deliberated
in public for the very first time ever on
Wednesday November 16 at 4pm in Council Chambers.
This has NOT been passed yet, NONE of this is a done deal.
Among other things it recommends that the “Municipal Assist” be allowed to die Dec 31 2022. (I think that’s a good thing. The Residents of Medicine Hat cannot afford to subsidize developers anymore after the nearly $6 million given to Aurora among other subsidies. Residents have a hard enough time paying their utility bills, we cannot afford to give out tens of thousands to subsidize $500,000 homes.)
OSLs (Off Site Levies) are charged to developers for new developments.
Usually Constructed By the Developer - Infrastructure located on land being developed (onsite): Local and collector roads, intersections Water distribution lines Sanitary laterals and collectors, etc
Usually Constructed By the Municipality - Infrastructure located away from land being developed (offsite) Arterial roads Water transmission mains and reservoirs Trunk sewers and lift stations Water and sanitary treatment facilities Recreation facilities
The City takes over the responsibility for upkeep for new infrastructure when a certain threshold is reached. Once the City takes over, they pay for it in perpetuity whether it’s a road, a lake (or a pond). The developers pass along the cost to their customers.
Eg – Remember the shitty roads in Box Springs Business Park (BSBP) that never seemed to get any work done? That’s because the roads still belonged to the BSBP, NOT the City. The threshold for City takeover was 90% of BSBP to be occupied before the City would take over. By 2020 it was still not met despite the fact the Event Centre (Co-op Place) was nearby. In June 2020 a deal was reached with the City to get repairs done at BSBP’s expense. “Albert Stark, Box Springs Business Park partner, says the development has, is and will in the future pay for costs associated with the road until it’s turned over to the city.”
An OSL can only be collected once. Developed sites have NO OSLs. Cities are allowed to collect from developers for:
Pre 2004 New or expanded - water facilities. - sanitary sewage facilities.
Since 2004 New or expanded - stormwater drainage facilities. - roads, including interchanges.
Since 2017 New or expanded - recreation facilities - fire halls - police stations - libraries
However, Medicine Hat does NOT collect for the bolded items even though they can. That burden falls SOLELY on the taxpayers.
Once again they’re NOT collecting OSLs for
New or Expanded Interchanges Recreation Facilities Fire Stations Police Stations Libraries
“The model did not introduce facilities, such as recreation facilities, fire halls, police stations, or libraries at this time, as there has not been an identified need for these facilities related to anticipated growth. This will be continually reviewed as part of annual updates and will require background studies to understand the need of these facilities related to growth.” (Pg 355 Nov 7 City Council Meeting agenda packet)
No identified need for a fire station? I beg to differ. Remember when 40 Coulee Ridge homes were subsidized in 2020 to the tune of $2,500 for each home (the lower values are in the $500,000 range) for sprinklers because they chose to build outside the fire response area? That amounted to a $100,000 subsidy.
(When was the last time anybody gave you $2,500 for your home because of someone else’s piss poor planning?) Pg 15 of the Feb 18 2020 City Council Agenda Packet
No identified need for recreation facilities? Was this not a subject of discussion before the election last year? The City wanted to ADD more ice surfaces among other things, residents have also been screaming for recreational facilities in the South.
Maybe we should be collecting for these things NOW instead of burdening the taxpayers with subsidizing high priced homes?
The Q and A section was interesting to read, the Box Springs Business Park (BSBP) seemed to be insisting on being their own node.
More to come on the proposed budget