Vacant-lot owners must continue to pay county

Owners of vacant lots in Buffalo View Estates and Buffalo Sands on the south shores of Buffalo Lake are slated to continue to pay

Owners of vacant lots in Buffalo View Estates and Buffalo Sands on the south shores of Buffalo Lake are slated to continue to pay the County of Stettler for the water and sewer system.

At its monthly meeting last week, county council adopted bylaws to set the tax levies.

“These are bylaws we adopt every year,” said Tim Fox, the county’s chief administrative officer.

Water and sewer services cannot be charged unless an occupant is connected to the system and utilizes the services.

“The only way council can generate revenue from vacant lots within these vastly undeveloped subdivisions is to pass a bylaw to levy a special waterworks and sewer tax,” Fox said.

“This special tax is in effect for only the year it is passed for, and therefore needs to be reconsidered annually.”

For 2012, the special tax levy produced $21,000 for Buffalo View Estates and $8,610 for Buffalo Sands, with the same levels of revenues expected for next year.

Council also adopted a bylaw to authorize administration to borrow up to $3 million for 2013.

“Next year, the county will be working toward the completion of the Erskine water reservoir and construction completion at Buffalo View Estates and the county must finance all expenses associated with the completion of these projects,” Fox said.

“Our current operating borrowing bylaw needs to remain at $3 million in order to assist us with meeting these obligations.”

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