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Former AG Foods building sale proceeds allocated

Town of Didsbury council sells building to Home Hardware, nets cash return of $753,040

DIDSBURY - Town council has decided to allocate the proceeds from the sale of the former AG Foods building to the wastewater reserve. The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

Located at 2405 - 20th Street, the building was sold to the Town of Didsbury by Buy-Low in 2019. 

The total purchase price of $1.1 million was paid to facilitate the sale of Lot 9 in Shantz Crossing to develop the new Buy-Low Foods store, said mayor Rhonda Hunter.

This summer the town sold the building to the local Home Hardware for $771,709. Taking away $18,669 for holding and other costs, the town’s net cash return was $753,040.

“The purchase of the former AG building was initially funded from the sale of land in Shantz (a subdivision on the town’s north end), which is a break-even department that does not rely on tax dollars,” Ethan Gorner, the town's chief administrative officer (CAO), said in a briefing note to council. 

“The Shantz subdivision has ongoing costs for which the town does not collect taxes, leaving to the wastewater reserve not being funded by cash.

“Having cash in the wastewater reserve is important to mitigate short-term borrowing for wastewater projects in the future.”

Council moved that the $753,040 sale proceeds be allocated to the reserve for future use. Council has the option to move those funds to other reserves if desired. 

Updated wastewater bylaw reviewed

In other news from the recent council meeting, councillors have given second reading to the proposed updated wastewater bylaw and sent it to the policy and governance committee for review.

“Wastewater Bylaw 2020-01 was extensively reviewed by administration and the policy and governance committee, which made multiple revisions,” said CAO Gorner. 

Revisions have been made to a number of sections of the bylaw.

Under the provisions of wastewater system section, the updated bylaw states, in part, that, “Anyone causing damage to the wastewater system will be required to compensate the town fully for all associated costs of repairs.”

As well, the section reads that, “Any owner or developer’s use of the wastewater is at the ongoing discretion of the town and may be subject to additional requirements. These additional requirements will be the responsibility of the owner and developer.”

A new connections section of the bylaw states, in part, that, “No connections, to the wastewater system, or new installation or repair to service lines shall be made without the approval of the town, always subject to whatever conditions and requirements the town may impose.”

As well, the new section also states that, “In all cases when the installation of new connections or the replacement and repair of wastewater service lines necessitates the opening and excavating of a street, boulevard, sidewalk and other property the owner shall be fully responsible for, along with all costs, of returning such to its original condition, at the discretion of the CAO.”

The updated disconnection section reads, in part, that, “The Town reserves the right to disconnect any service line from the wastewater system due to unsafe conditions, to protect the integrity of the wastewater system and/or the utility billing system, or for any other reason the CAO deems necessary for the well-being of the town.”

The updated spills section states that, “All spills or unapproved discharges shall immediately be brought to the attention of the town” and that, “Anyone responsible for such spills shall be responsible for the safe and expedient clean up, and for all associated costs, and for notifying all appropriate authorities.”

A date for the proposed updated bylaw to come back before council has not been set.

All councillors attended the Sept. 28 council meeting, held in person and on YouTube.