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Councilors unsure of supporting developer donations

Posted on May 9, 2017 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Justin Seward
Jasper Homes brought forth a proposal to Cypress County council for them to decide whether or not to financially assist the Dunmore Stormwater Management project adjacent to their subdivision development at the May 2 meeting. Jasper Homes is currently in the process of developing a 13-lot hamlet residential subdivision in Dunmore.
It is required of the subdivisions approval to construct a storm water management facility that contains the storm water runoff that comes from within the subdivision’s boundary and can handle the area’s runoff to the south. WSP Canada has designed a sub-catchment area that handles the storm water from within the subdivision and in the areas south of the property. WSP Canada also determined the estimated cost for the storm water management facility to be just over $317,000.
Jasper Homes is requesting from the county to pay 94 per cent of the overall costs associated with the construction of the storm water management facility. The county would  pay $298,000 and Jasper Homes would pay the remaining $19,150 to meet the estimated cost.
“We don’t donate towards developers,” said Dunmore Coun. Dan Hamilton. “That’s not our mandate. That’s your cost, by no means should anyone be coming to the county and expecting a donation for that.”
In the past, the developer have had to pay for their own infrastructure costs and Jasper Homes is prepared to pay the storm water costs from the 13 lots but requested financial assistance to accomodate and handle the storm water that is generated by an established development in the area.
Meanwhile, Coun. Richard Oster voiced his concerns after driving by the area earlier in the day that the developers have done their landscaping according to the lay of the land and everything from the tree line to the fence line is low. He suggested will the county be taking on a problem with having the water backing the property and what do they do with a property that is in the middle of a flood area. “Is there going to be a major excavation plan to this dry pond to handle everything that’s going to show up?,” said Oster. “Right now the grass area handles everything. If we’re going to send all the water to the back, I’d like some reassurance that a person’s property isn’t going to be affected.”
Cypress County’s chief administrative officer (CAO) Doug Henderson clarified Oster’s concern. Henderson’s understanding is  whatever is  used to  accumulate in the whole development area will increase in the dry pond. “I guess the main philosophy here is council accepted the storm water management plan last year,” stated Henderson. “ In the 100-year flood event, the water has to go somewhere and whether it stays on this whole area that’s not developed, which then isolates what that land owner can do in terms of developing or whether you put it somewhere else that’s up to you  guys.”  Council decided to defer the  decision until the next meeting.

Shortfall in property tax
Councillors were informed of the $639,000 shortfall in tax revenue due to the assessment values lower than budgeted in December 2016. The decision from council was to leave the deficiency in a tax generated revenue and remain as is, where it  will be covered by an unrestricted surplus.

County appoints a new director of emergency management
Cypress County council voted in favour of appointing John Belanger as the new director of emergency management after the position was overseen by interim personnel for the last year after former fire chief Dennis Mann was relieved of his duties.

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