By Cole Parkinson
The Municipal District of Taber is hoping to find a staff member to occupy one of their owned houses in Enchant.
The house in question is located in Enchant and typically in the past, it was occupied by the Enchant grader operator but is currently vacant as the staff member owns his own house at the moment.
Administration did state the grader operator would be interested in the property depending on market-value rent.
The Enchant house, which was built in 1983, is located on the corner of North Ave. and Range Road 18-4, across the road from the beet dump and entrance into the landfill and is 1,080 square feet in size.
It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms developed upstairs and down as well as a two-vehicle garage and a chain-link fence backyard.
During council’s regular meeting on Nov. 13, councillors discussed what they wanted to see when it came to who will be the tenants in the house.
“I would rather see us go with staff and then maybe a member of the fire department before we get to the public. And with the public, I would want a really tight contract,” said Deputy Reeve Tamara Miyanaga.
Over the past several years, administration stated the house has received regular maintenance, including a new front deck, windows, shingles, a chain link fence, a newer furnace, hot water heater, and air conditioner.
This fall new carpets were installed and the entire interior was painted.
“I still think there is value having the grader operator within walking distance,” added Coun. Brian Brewin.
The house was offered to the Enchant grader operator at $650 per month plus utilities while the previous price was a subsidized rent of $250 a month. Administration believes the former price was too low and the raised price of $650 per month to be a fair price for rent of the house.
They estimate the market value rent of the property would be in the neighbourhood of $1,000 to $1,200 a month plus utilities.
“If you get too low, it could be deemed by Revenue Canada as being a taxable benefit so we wanted to adjust it based on recognizing there is a benefit in having staff members in the house,” said CAO Derrick Krizsan. “The question was the value council was going to place on the rental value.”
While council had the option to offer it to the public, they were in favour of offering it back to staff first. A motion was made to offer it to the grader district operator first and if not successful, it would be brought back.
The motion was passed unanimously by council.