RDKB delays expansion talks: Trail

Trail staff just met with the province for advice on how to move ahead with the plan to expand city limits.

A delayed response from the regional district has Trail’s boundary expansion proposal on hold and the city looking for feedback on how to forge ahead.

“Given the fact that the regional district is not responding I have scheduled meetings in Victoria with the Ministry,” David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer (CAO) told council during the governance meeting Nov. 25.

“I hope to actually see about advancing our own proposal ahead of the regional district,” he said, adding, and what the best approach will be to work through mitigation meetings.”

When the city publicly released its intent to move forward with the boundary extension in May, Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs stated the entire process could happen within the next 18 months.

According to Perehudoff’s Nov. 25 status report, the city has a target date of December 2014 to finalize its partnering agreement with Teck and a projected timeline to begin provision of services to the newly incorporated area in January 2015.

However, he noted that finalization will most likely be delayed further as the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has been slow to initiate discussions on the mitigation issue.

“This matter has been discussed with the province on several occasions and their direction is that there is no requirement to provide full mitigation,” Perehudoff said earlier this year. “They note that within the financial parameters of the extension and the implications on the city as well as regional services impacted, the city must come up with a reasonable offer to the regional district.”

Since opposing Beaver Valley communities met with Minister Coralee Oakes at a municipal convention in September, nothing has advanced.

“Trail should have our response next week,” confirmed John MacLean, CAO for the district.

The proposed extension involves 66 parcels of land that run south through Columbia Gardens to the international border, with a general land assessment pegged at $105 million.

Included in the proposed expansion are Teck’s Waneta Reload Facility and the Waneta Dam, which currently provides a significant tax base for the regional district.

Trail maintains that those property taxes are actually paid to the province in the form of rural property taxes because the land in question is in an unincorporated area.

“These taxes, rather than going to Victoria will now stay in the local area,” said Perehudoff. “This is one of the benefits of a municipality extending its boundaries into an unincorporated area.”

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