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Town of Innisfail chooses builders for its four homes

Town council moves ahead ‘in the housing business’ to meet the needs of the Innisfail
Four new homes in Innisfail, each at a potential list price of $500,000, will soon be constructed by two Red Deer builders in the Napoleon Meadows subdivision at a potential maximum cost to taxpayers of $1.5 million. Johnnie Bachusky/MVP Staff

INNISFAIL –  Town council has chosen a pair of Red Deer home builders to construct four new houses in the Napoleon Meadows subdivision at a total maximum cost to Innisfail taxpayers of $1.5 million.

The move by Innisfail council follows its decision almost two years ago to enter into construction contracts with Red Deer builders True-Line Homes and Abbey Platinum to have each company build two single-detached homes on town-owned lots in the Hazelwood Estates subdivision.

Calling the 2022 housing initiative “innovative and creative” at the time, council had approved $1.3 million from its 2022 Operating Budget to fund its housing plan.

At council’s regular meeting on Jan. 22, two motions were approved to engage both True-Line Homes and Red Deer-based Larkaun Home for the construction of two detached homes each to a maximum value of $750,000 each within the Napoleon Meadows subdivision.

Council was told by administration that based on the pricing and example floor plans provided by each builder, the town is recommending True-Line construct two bungalows and Larkaun build a pair of two-storey homes.

“We will, based on council’s decision today, work on finalized floor plans and costs in coordination with each builder,” said Meghan Jenkins, community services director for the Town of Innisfail, in her report to council.

In response to a question from Coun. Cindy Messaros, Jenkins said she expects the list price for each new home in Napoleon Meadows to be about $500,000.

The town’s total estimated price tag of $1.5 million for its latest housing venture in Napoleon Meadows was approved in the 2024 Capital Budget.

“I know they're both established builders and True-Line did two homes for us last year, and these two responded to a request the town put out for home builders, so we're very pleased,” said Mayor Jean Barclay. “We own the lots, and we need houses. So, we’re hiring home builders to build more houses for us.

“I also look at it as an investment, so there's return on that investment. And you're also going forward. Your have properties that are now built out that we are now collecting property taxes on, so it also adds to our revenue stream.”

Innisfail’s housing needs is a serious issue for Barclay and the Town of Innisfail.

At council’s regular meeting on Jan. 8, council approved the 2024 Housing Action Plan, an initiative created to guide new housing strategies for the next two years.

There is also cautious optimism that shovels are planned to be in the ground for the town-approved first phase of the massive new residential development on the northeast side of Dodd’s Lake.

But when actual construction will begin has not yet been publicly released.

However, the town is also looking at other strategies, such as investing taxpayer’s money to have more homes built.

And a question from that decision is whether a municipal government should be getting in the housing business when it’s been the longstanding domain of the private sector, and senior levels of government.

“We're in the housing business because we need housing. If we had builders or whomever purchasing lots and building some spec housing maybe we wouldn't have to be doing that,” said Barclay. “I know that a municipality building houses can be controversial but on the other hand we do own these lots.

“I would rather have a home on them rather than them sitting empty, and if we can build something and help with the housing needs in Innisfail then to me that's a wise direction to be going.”


Johnnie Bachusky

About the Author: Johnnie Bachusky

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