A group of 16 homeowners on Maple Ridge Road in Conrich Estates have petitioned Rocky View County (RVC) council to consider imposing a Local Improvement Tax on their properties to have County water and wastewater infrastructure installed and tied into their homes.
RVC director of corporate services Kent Robinson confirmed the petition results during the May 9 council meeting, certifying that 12 of the 16 homeowners on the street had signed the petition. The threshold for petition validation at RVC is that the petition must capture two-thirds of residences in an affected area in order to be valid.
However, Robinson confirmed, validating the petition is only the first step in the process. His staff will now have to consult with the homeowners to determine what exactly their desires are, and if they might be willing to bear the cost of the Local Improvement Tax as part of a local improvement plan.
In this particular case, with so few households involved, Robinson acknowledged the cost to install water and wastewater systems along Maple Ridge Road might be excessive.
“It is a relatively small area,” Robinson told councillors on Tuesday. “So once we get this local improvement plan completed in conjunction with our utilities department, we don’t know if it is going to be successful or not, simply because the small amount of lots and the cost is going to be fairly significant, we suspect.”
Division 1 Coun. Kevin Hanson asked administration why so few households in the Conrich Estates had signed the petition. The more households that signed, Hanson reminded council, the more the Local Improvement Tax could be spread out to make the cost more manageable.
“It seems like it is only one road (in Conrich Estates), a third of total residences, is there any other appetite to spread the cost on a wider range? Why only this one road?” Hanson asked.
“It virtually comes down to who is interested in actually getting the services applied,” replied RVC director of operations Byron Riemann. “As you can imagine, as soon as you start installing all the infrastructure into the road, all of a sudden, others become interested.”
Riemann added it’s no different than when RVC extended its water pipeline into Prince of Peace last year.
“It’s a fluid process, but it has to be a controlled process to make sure we’re generating a cost estimate particular to the ask,” he said.
“All those residents got together to get an entire area done,” added area Coun. and Deputy Reeve Sunny Samra, explaining some of the context that led to the petition. “But as the agreement was not reached (with neighbouring streets), or they were not on the same page … that’s when they (on Maple Ridge Road) decided to say, ‘We would go ahead.’”
Although no official cost estimates were submitted to council during the May 9 meeting, a similar Local Improvement Tax for water infrastructure was recently imposed on the Prince of Peace subdivision for water line extension work completed there in 2022, which amounted to just over $982,000.
Riemann said it was hoped if the local improvement plan went ahead, more nearby households would eventually get on board to take advantage of the benefits.
Samra then introduced a motion that administration be directed to prepare a local improvement plan and a corresponding borrowing bylaw for the installation of new water and wastewater infrastructure in the Conrich Estates subdivision on Meadow Ridge Road.
The motion passed unanimously, though a final decision on the local improvement plan and potential local improvement taxes will be voted on at a future meeting of council.