My position on development in the Crowsnest Pass:
In the Crowsnest Pass it's not a surprise to most people we have a huge problem almost 90% of our tax base is residential. Our primary source of employment is the coal mines in the Elk Valley, our secondary sources of employment, a few government jobs, and the retail and service sectors.
Do we need Development in the Crowsnest Pass? Beyond a shadow of doubt.
With approximately 3200 homes in the Pass building 15-20 homes a year will take us close to 200 years just to maintain the number of homes we have today. The next council needs to sit down with residential developers and determine what we as a community can do to attract more building here. Off site levies need to be done away with completely not a one year freeze that is presently in place. We need to look at the fees we charge for people to build, are we in line with communities around us that are competing for the same home owners we are. We have to realize that if you attract people here to build they will pay taxes on that property for many years to come, they will put kids in our schools and spend their wages in our community.
Nobody wants another Bridgegate, Medican. What we need is more of the Ironstones, Southmores, Mohawk Meadows, and Timberlines. All of those developments were good for the Pass and will continue to help us to increase our tax base over the coming years.
Commercial development, we are in desperate need of it commercial development not only creates employment through the building stage, but then it creates long term employment for as long as the business is in existence. Let's not forget one commercial business will pay the equivalent taxes of many homes.
So to be clear again Dean Ward as been and will be pro-development, my wish is to see us grow at a much greater rate than we presently are.
If elected I will propose to the rest of Council that we sit down with all the developers and builders in the Crowsnest Pass, find out what the issues are and determine where the municipality can help.