Trail ready for next step in boundary expansion

The numbers are in and Trail is ready to roll the dice and take the city’s boundary expansion proposal to the next level.

The numbers are in and Trail is ready to roll the dice and take the city’s boundary expansion proposal to the next level.

In May, the city released details about a mutual agreement with Teck Metals Ltd., that outlined Trail’s intent to expand its boundary into Teck-owned land in Area A.

At stake is cash, tax concessions and land which runs south through Columbia Gardens to the international border. However, before the plan could be submitted to the province for ratification, land values and tax assessments of the 66 parcels of property affected by a proposed expansion, had to be updated by Urban Systems, the company that completed the 2012 boundary expansion study.

And what a difference a year makes.

A general land assessment released Friday, which included property of eight landowners living in the area, was pegged at $105 million. That number is up $28 million from the value the city and Teck referred to in its partnering agreement. Included in the proposed expansion are Teck’s Waneta Reload Facility and the Waneta Dam.

In terms of potential net revenue gain from the dam, the city must split proceeds 60-40 with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).

In 2012, the net to Trail was estimated to be $328,000 and the RDKB, $229,000. That figure has jumped to $548,000 for the city in 2013, with the district seeing $349,000.

The study’s consultant noted that there is further revenue potential from the dam due to additional assessment growth, as well as grants in lieu of taxes, explained David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer in a memorandum to the city.

The most contentious issue with Trail’s proposed boundary expansion is the impact it may have on regional services, in particular the Beaver Valley Parks and Recreational Trail Services (BVPART).

Perehudoff explained that the province has indicated that one of the guiding principles for the eventual approval of the boundary extension is that the BVPART be protected long-term and remain “whole.”

The current report indicates a net shortfall in the service in the amount of $472,000 compared to $374,000 in the 2012 study.

The revenue loss would inevitably come at a cost to the taxpayer in the affected community and the latest study notes a $43 increase would result on a $200,000 residential home.

“With the current recreation agreement expiring with Beaver Valley Parks and Recreation, it is suggested that this difference could be made up in the contractual amount currently being paid to the city,” explained Perehudoff.

Trail must come up with a reasonable offer within the financial parameters of the extension and implication on the city as well as the regional services impacted.

“There have been some discussions held by the province,” said Perehudoff.

“Initial response is that notwithstanding concerns raised that there are no ‘show-stoppers’ at this time.”