Trail begins consultation via mail with residents impacted by boundary extension
Residents who will be effected by the City of Trail's proposed boundary extension can expect to receive a letter this week (if they haven't already) asking them whether they support the move, according to Trail CAO David Perehudoff.
“The (expansion) process is still underway and no approval has been provided,” said Perehudoff in an interview last week. “We do expect to send a letter out to the impacted property owners later this week asking them specifically if they are in favour of the city expanding its boundaries. Once this information is gathered, we will be in a better position to determine whether or not to proceed further.”
It’s been a year since the City of Trail and Teck jointly put out a press release explaining the City of Trail’s intent on expanding the Trail boundaries out to the Waneta dam, making everything on the way fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Trail.
Mayor Dieter Bogs said in the press release, “If the area comes into the City of Trail’s jurisdiction, hundreds of thousands of dollars will be invested in local services or in the boundary expansion area for infrastructure to potentially attract new investment. This would result in the creation of additional local property tax revenue and new jobs for Greater Trail. Coupled with the agreement with Teck, the boundary extension is a good initiative for the entire region.”
The press release also said, “the City of Trail will be moving forward with the boundary extension referral process which may result in the city extending its boundaries into electoral Area A; including land from the city’s existing southern boundary through to the Columbia Gardens industrial park and south to the US border.
“The city understands this is a very important issue to Beaver Valley and every effort will be made to minimize the net financial impacts on the service and the corresponding property tax impacts to the residents in the service area,” said Bogs.
Despite Bogs' positive sales pitch, not everyone is rooting for the proposal to get approved.
Ali Grieve, the director for Area A, explained that certain criteria must be met before the process will be approved.
“Part of the criteria would include extensive public consultation, which in my view has not occurred,” she said. “Another criteria of the province is to know that a clear majority of property owners in the proposed boundary expansion want to go.”
When asked if she supported the proposal Grieve said, “I have been on record several times saying I don't.”
“The industrial park is the main source of taxation not only for Area A but for the Beaver Valley as well. The City of Trail currently enjoys a healthy tax base with the business of Teck because Teck currently pays 63 per cent of the taxes for the City of Trail. Our industrial park is our Teck.”
“There are about 13 businesses down there (as well as) the Waneta dam,” she said.
Grieve has met with a minister in Victoria to discuss why she opposes the Trail boundary expansion and said she will be meeting with said minister again.
“The mayors of Fruitvale and Montrose and myself are all united in opposing this proposed boundary expansion. It's about the loss of taxation. And it takes away our ability to pay for services that we've come to enjoy. All communities want the same thing. Recreation and a healthy lifestyle and a place that people want to live. While we understand the reason for the businesses wanting to do that, it can't be at our expense,” said Grieve, adding “The people in our communities don't want to lose anything so the City of Trail can get more tax dollars.”
Stay tuned to the Champion to find out what response the City of Trail receives as a result of last week's letter campaign.