By Cole Parkinson
With the 4th Street subdivision project complete, Vauxhall town council had to set prices for the 19 available serviced lots.
Each lot is around 18.8 metres wide and 39.65 metres long and are the only 19 available residential lots for sale in town.
“Council now needs to determine the cost per lot. According to our expenses, the average cost per lot needs to be $29,550 to recap our costs,” said Wendy Bergen, Vauxhall CFO at council’s regular meeting on September 17.
Average costs for lots in nearby areas are $56,700 in Grassy Lake, $55,398 in Nobleford and $107,450 in Taber, according to administration.
Coun. Ray Coad asked how long they expected for it to take to sell the lots which administration had no hard answer but hoped it would be two years or less.
Previous sales of residential lots also didn’t provide any hints as to how long the town can expect to have the lots for sale.
“The lots we had on 6th Street, they sat for 10 to 15 years and they all sold in a month,” explained CAO Cris Burns.
With the potential for the lots to sit for a while, council wanted to make sure they had a plan in place in case they didn’t sell.
Particularly, they wanted to make sure the Vauxhall taxpayers were seeing a fair return for their investment into the 19 new residential lots.
“I’m concerned taxpayer dollars have been used to do this. The taxpayer should be compensated fairly for that investment. There should be some recognition for interest to the part of the lot prices, a carrying cost of some kind to be reviewed at five years. If there are still 19 lots then, re-evaluate,” said Coad.
He also suggested a five per cent interest on the lots. The average cost for the 19 new serviced lots was set at $29,550 which left council to discuss where they wanted to set prices.
Deputy Mayor Richard Phillips suggested a price of $40,000 which council seemed in favour of as it was cheaper than most other places in the Municipal District of Taber and it would bring a profit.
“If we set it too high and nothing is moving, we can always have the option of going lower,” he said. “A lot of people are attracted to building a house they like on a new lot and they are big lots.”
A motion was made to have the lots for sale at $40,000 plus GST and to review in two years which was passed unanimously by council.