File photo

Town council looks at developing a derelict property incentive bylaw

Mayor wants to “praise not punish” people who clean up derelict properties

Mayor Rick Bonnett turned over the running of council’s regular council meeting Sept. 10 to deputy mayor Coun. Carla Prediger so he could put forward a notice of motion for a derelict property incentive bylaw.

Bonnett asked administration to investigate and work on a new bylaw that would allow council to authorize property tax incentives on properties that have fallen into disrepair.

There are a number of neglected, abandoned and aged properties in Ponoka and Bonnett would like council to have the ability to offer a tax break as an incentive for cleaning them up.

“We know the ones that are identified,” he said, adding he’d like property owners that develop a rundown property to be “praised not penalized.”

Coun. Kevin Ferguson was in favour of the idea, but suggested putting an age restriction on eligible buildings, as well as a cap on how long the tax break would last for.

“We need to deal with those things because, as I said … there are a number of neighbours and you can just see the desperation in their eyes over the fact that they were dealing with, really, a garbage dump in their neighbourhood and that’s got to be addressed regardless if it’s positive or negative,” said Ferguson.

Prediger asked whether the bylaw would deal with commercial or residential properties and if it would supercede bylaw enforcement already in place.

Bonett says he doesn’t disagree with making it mainly for commercial properties, but in some instances residential properties may be applicable, such as when an owner cleans up an eyesore in a neighbourhood.

“I don’t disagree with you that bylaw enforcement has its place and we’ve got to have those but this is an extra over and above,” said Bonnett.

“I really appreciate the mayor’s work and his ideas in making this motion. I think it’s got significant potential,” said CAO Albert Flootman.

Flootman says the development of a program that would be clear to administer and transparent to the public would be a “stronger tool” to deal with derelict properties, adding it would take some time to accomplish because of the complexity.

“Let’s make sure that we are realistic in our expectations of what we can achieve. We also need to be realistic about timing … we will need some time to put this together,” said Flootman.

Council directed administration to work on developing a bylaw and bring it before council within a year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

(Photo submitted)
Rimbey resident avid author despite Parkinson’s

Wins more accolades for her writing

“Pumpkin” is available for adoption at Old MacDonalds Kennels. (Facebook photo)
Old MacDonald Kennels sounding the alarm over number of cats in care

An expansion is underway at Old MacDonald Kennels

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer
Five-year-old boy fighting cancer celebrates Halloween with reverse trick-or-treating in Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin Fire Department made a special stop for Dawson Jackson.

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement regarding vaccine procurement, in Toronto, on Wednesday, Aug., 5, 2020. Despite its status as an artificial intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with issues of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting calls for regulation from businesses and experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

5 million images of shoppers collected without consent at Canadian malls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

<strong>Spooky spectacles:</strong> Halloween decorations seen around Ponoka. Photos by Karen Douglass
PHOTOS: Ponoka ready for Halloween

Spooky spectacles: Halloween decorations seen around Ponoka. Photos by Karen Douglass By… Continue reading

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read