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Local Improvements
Local Improvement Plan
Missed the March 21 Local Improvement Plan Open House? Here is a video of the presentation and subsequent questions.

Local improvements are projects that Council considers to be of greater benefit to one area within city than to the city as a whole. They were common practice locally until 2005, and many properties continue to pay for local improvements. This is a normal, legislated practice found in many municipalities across Canada.

The City of Wetaskiwin has been listening to your local improvement questions and inquiries, and we have collected information to share regarding some other communities that have a local improvement plan, and what it consists of (see below).

Community Utilities Roads Lanes Sidewalks Medians Curbs & Gutters Street Lights
Camrose X X X X X X
Calgary

X X          X
X
Edmonton

X X X X X
Grande Prairie X
X X X
X
Medicine Hat X X X X
X X
Ponoka X X X X X X
Red Deer X X X X

X
Wetaskiwin
X
X
X

As you can see, the City of Wetaskiwin compares quite favourably to some other Albertan communities who have local improvement plans.
  • In Camrose, residents living along a route scheduled for local improvements must pay for the utilities, roads, lanes, sidewalks, medians, as well as the curbs and gutters. 
  • In Calgary, residents pay for lanes, sidewalks, medians, and the curbs and gutters. 
  • In Wetaskiwin, residents only pay for the road, sidewalks, and curbs and gutters through the Local Improvement Levy.

Through the local improvement process, the City and property owners facilitate and support efforts to improve neighbourhood assets. Local improvement projects maintain or improve accessibility, and enhance appearance without burdening all the taxpayers with the full financial responsibility of improving these public spaces. 

Given the current state of our roads, the City decided to re-initiate a local improvement plan to ensure that the necessary work could be completed within a reasonable time line. Regular taxes do not cover the expense of this work, as they are used to finance municipal operations and maintain the existing infrastructure, snow and ice control, sweeping and essential services (see the 'Did You Know' below for more info). It is important to note that the Municipal Government Act provides statutes for the administration of local improvements.

Update
Update from the June 18 Special Council Meeting, held at 7 pm in Council Chambers at Wetaskiwin City Hall.

Bylaw 1908-18 - Local Improvement Levy - 51st Avenue
The City of Wetaskiwin had received a petition from property owners along 51 Avenue, however, the petition was deemed insufficient as less than two-thirds of the 51 Avenue property owners had signed it.

Wetaskiwin City Council was not bound by the petition as it was deemed insufficient, and decided to move forward with a complete local improvement for 51 Avenue by passing Bylaw 1908-18. The MGA dictates that a bylaw must be in place for a local improvement project before construction begins.

Local Improvement Plan - 56th Avenue
The City received a sufficient petition against the local improvement project planned for 56 Avenue in Wetaskiwin. As such, Wetaskiwin City Council voted to proceed only with the critical utility repairs required along 56 Avenue. Trenching will be done to access the utility lines that require repair, and asphalt patching will be used in these areas.

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Did You Know?
When you petition against the local improvement project, you are only petitioning against the portion of work that you as a property owner would be responsible for (road surface and medians). The City of Wetaskiwin funds the utility work through the utility reserve, and will proceed with all necessary utility work.

Questions about local improvements can be emailed to . You can also call Wetaskiwin City Hall at 780.361.4400

Did You Know?

Annual taxes go to the upkeep of existing infrastructure and services, such as:
  • In your city - police, fire and emergency services, recreational programs, bylaw services, maintenance of public spaces, disaster response services.
  • On the road - construction/maintenance of pedestrian pathways, traffic control, streetlights, street cleaning, snow removal, overlays, sidewalk replacement for safety and the extension of missing pieces.
  • In the environment - the collection of garbage, sustainable initiatives, and the care and management of parks and green spaces.


When a new development is built, the developer pays for all the initial infrastructure (not the City). Once a lot is purchased, some of the costs to repair this infrastructure are assumed by the property owner. As you’ll note in the graph above, our local improvement plan only requires property owners to fund the cost of the road,  sidewalks, curbs and gutters. The City of Wetaskiwin as a whole will fund the cost of the utilities, lanes, medians, and street lights for local improvements.


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