Staff with the City of Enderby have been asked to put together a tax exemption bylaw for brownfield revitalization.
A brownfield is a piece of property that may have contaminated soil from operations such a gas station or a manufacturing facility with generators.
Mayor Greg McCune says the idea is provide an opportunity for the land owner to rehabilitate that property and get some use out of it.
“For example, if it’s next to a, let’s say a mill site, well the mill may be able to go hey, we don’t want to touch it when it’s this but with a bit of incentive we’ll go in and do some remediation and then make it a part of our business.”
Thus, making it an active piece of land that is a win for both the business and the city.
“Yeah, it could be a forgiveness of taxes for a certain time period. It could be a reduction. Just giving them an opportunity to take typically what is quite possibly an eyesore in most communities and allow it to become a usable piece of property.”
Which then becomes a source of new taxation revenue at the end of the exemption period.
McCune says there are a couple of properties in the city that have just been sitting there for years but which could benefit, one in particular.
“The old Esso bulk site. It was basically an Esso bulk plant that operated for many, many years. When it shut down they went through the steps that they were supposed to do at the time but it’s been closed now for close to 25 years.”
McCune says the city may be able to have discussions with Esso about an tax incentive that would help reclaim the land.