With the adoption of four new bylaws, housekeeping duties were the focus of Tuesday night’s council meeting in Trail.
First to be enacted, was the Downtown Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw.
“The basic purpose behind this bylaw is to encourage investment in the downtown,” said Michelle McIsaac, city corporate administrator.
Properties that are either doing new construction or substantial renovations, will be eligible for tax exemptions for terms of up to 10 years, explained McIsaac.
Essentially, the bylaw will “freeze” the properties where construction and renovation are undertaken, at their current set values.
“Those eligible properties will be exempt from municipal taxes for a number of years on the new assessed value,” added McIsaac.
“This one is near and dear to my heart,” said Coun. Kevin Jolly, as the motion was carried.
Council approved bylaw 2746, which enables eligible properties to receive a 50 per cent reduction in the downtown building permit fees.
The downtown is identified as the Gulch, East Trail and downtown commercial areas.
“Council’s intention is to improve the business plan in our area, and this will support the concept of the downtown revitalization,” commented councillor Robert Cacchioni.
Next on the agenda, was the issue of outdated parking fees and a message to repeated parking violators.
Bylaws for increased parking fees, and the boot to those who choose to ignore them, were approved.
On April 1, monthly parking fees will be raised by 10 per cent.
“The current rates have been in place for well over 12 years,” explained McIsaac.
Service parking lots will cost $33 a month; and underground stalls, $44.
City council adopted a traffic bylaw amendment to allow implementation of the “boot” device that will immobilize the vehicle of those not in compliance with paying parking tickets.
“The boot device will hold the vehicle in place,” said McIsaac,
“And the bylaw affixes a $75 service fee to cover the costs of carrying out the seizure.”
The boot device will be applied and removed by the parking meter attendant with the assistance of the bylaw enforcement officer.
“It is important to note that this is not for the person with four or five tickets,” said Jolly.
“It is designed for the chronic offenders.”