Thursday August 21, 2014

Council looks at Land Fund budget

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Yorkton Council had a look at its Land Fund Budget Monday.

In making the presentation to Council Director of Finance Lonnie Kaal said the Land Fund is about funding “growth”, adding that means “infrastructure required for growth.”

In “looking at the big picture, long term” financing potential growth will be significant, said Kaal. She noted there are currently some 1,700 acres within the city which could be developed, with an estimated infrastructure cost of some $90 million, a cost which could stretch out over the next 25-years.

While substantial costs Kaal noted “the Land Fund doesn’t cost taxpayers any money,” and thus has “a budget separate from the City budget.”

The 2014 Land Fund Budget presented will see some $15,826,075 invested in infrastructure to serve a number of projects.

Kaal said in most of the projects the costs are recouped with the sale of the land for actual development.

The one project which is something of an anomaly is infrastructure for the lands where the new Parkland College Trades and Technology will be built, said Kaal, explaining the land was donated by the City to the college project.

If the City had sold the land to the college (20 acres @ $180,000 = $3,600,000), the proceeds would have paid for the entire upgrade project. Since the land was gifted, the general tax base is funding $2,745,000 from drainage, roads and waterworks budgets with the remaining $755,000 being paid by the College ($320,000 development charges & $435,000 direct servicing agreement), detailed a report circulated to Council.

With the funding from the City’s general capital, detailed in the 2014 City Budget, the near $16 million in expenses will be balanced by development charges on land serviced, said Kaal.

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