Ponoka getting ready to sell off land it no longer wants

Empty properties along with facilities deemed too expensive to operate could be up for grabs

Empty land, such as the former town hall property, along with other properties council will determine as surplus could soon be on an annual list of land available for sale following passage of a revised disposal of land policy. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

A revised policy could see Ponoka divesting itself of several parcels of land previously considered assets to the community.

Town council — minus Mayor Rick Bonnett who was away on a personal trip — approved what is now called the land disposition policy during its meeting Oct. 23.

This is a replacement of the former disposal of surplus property policy, which consisted of one lone paragraph. The new policy, which takes up six pages, provides an update in order to comply with the recently revised Municipal Government Act (MGA).

Tim Schmidt, director of planning and development, explained the new policy will allow the town to dispose of any land — both surplus or otherwise — while also defining property that can’t be sold off along with defining the parameters for any potential sales.

“It is fairly complex and comprehensive,” Schmidt stated, noting there will be a cost to administer the policy on an annual basis.

“It is proposed this policy will come back to council each October to look at a list of proposed surplus land. Once council okays that list, we would then get an appraisal of those lands done and have council establish the price at either market value or less before offering the land up to the public.”

Schmidt added it’s estimated that a non-residential appraisal would cost $2,500 each plus any legal and other expenses. In addition, the surplus list would be made available to council during its budget discussions in order to prepare for any financial repercussions for the coming fiscal year.

The policy includes establishing what is surplus land — which may be undeveloped, developed and serviced or various reserve designations — as well as provisions for selling land that wasn’t formally placed for sale. Land that can’t be sold to private interests include any designated as environmental or conservation reserve

In addition, a land purchase must be paid in full up front and not paid back over time as the MGA prohibits municipal governments from essentially ‘loaning’ money to private buyers.

Lastly, the policy outlines the process for a land sale for less than market value to a private buyer. This includes advertising the proposed resolution publicly and should the resolution pass, a petition against the decision must be filed with the town within 60 days of the advertisement last appeared.

If the petition is ratified, then a referendum vote must be conducted within 90 days of that date.

This policy includes the Kinsmen Community Centre if council were to sell it.

signature

Just Posted

Ponoka teen pedestrian suffers injuries after pickup collision

A pickup struck a teen on residential streets in Ponoka

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

PHOTOS: Battle of Ponoka basketball action

The first ever senior high basketball league game for both Ponoka high schools was high energy

Guards injured, money stolen during overnight blast at Edmonton bank

Alberta Health Services said the injuries to the male guard were serious

Ponoka Elementary students team up to help KidSport

A special fundraiser has been organized by Ponoka Elementary Students to benefit KidSport

Tommy Chong says Canada took wrong approach to pot legalization

He also talked about the likelihood of another Cheech and Chong film

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Questions raised over retailers who shame shoplifters with photos

Alleged theft from a sex shop in Newfoundland led to posts on social media

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Stettler man found guilty of illegally trafficking wildlife

Hunting license suspended for three years

RCMP Major Crimes Unit South lay charges in homicide

23-year-old Chelsey Lagrelle of Sunchild First Nation charged with manslaughter

EU leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans

European Union leaders have offered Theresa May sympathy but no promises, as the British prime minister seeks a lifeline.

Most Read