By Cole Parkinson
In hopes of attracting more people to the Hamlet of Hays, the Municipal District of Taber is exploring providing potable water services to lots.
The M.D. of Taber currently owns hamlet industrial lots in the northwest portion of Hays and those lots are serviced with sanitary sewer but are not serviced with potable water.
“We have lots serviced with sewer but not water so I asked Bryan (Badura, director of corporate services) and Craig (Pittman, director of infrastructure) to put together an RFD to add this as a future potential capital project. The estimated cost of providing potable water to these lots is $326,508 and with 14 lots the average price per lot would be $23,322. Some of those lots are already developed,” explained CAO Derrick Krizsan at the M.D. regular council meeting on May 14.
Sales of lots are currently negotiated by council when interest is expressed by a buyer.
“The thing I wonder about this development is, if we build it they will come? Or we build it and it stays the same as it has been for the past few years?” asked Deputy Reeve Tamara Miyanaga.
With a handful of the lots owned already, a question came around if there had been any expressed interest in upgrading the infrastructure in the area.
“I would like to question some of the current lot owners if they would be interested. If there is zero interest then maybe we don’t entertain the idea until there is interest,” said Coun. Jen Crowson.
“There has been interest expressed in the past but they wanted water and sewer so the developments didn’t go forward,” answered Krizsan.
With economic development on the minds of the M.D., it was pointed out that servicing these lots could potential be the X factor in bringing buyers to Hays.
While there is no guarantee, administration sees it as a good kicking off point to drum up business.
“Having water and sewer would make them more attractive for development,” said Krizsan. “This would be a good first step (for economic development). Having water and sewer, that is the key. If you’ve got a serviced property, you never know what will show up.”
With no firm commitment of needing to proceed, council was in favour of exploring the possibility of adding potable water services.
A motion was passed to add the project to the list of future potential capital projects and was carried unanimously. Councillors John Turcato, Brian Brewin and Leavitt Howg were absent from the meeting.