WHAT IS A LOCAL AREA SERVICE AND HOW IS THE WORK PAID FOR?
A Local Area Service (LAS), pursuant to Part 7, Division 5 of the Community Charter, is any municipal service that is designed to benefit a particular part of the municipality and is paid for in whole or in part by local property owners through a local service tax.
A local service tax is created by Council to pay all or part of the cost of a Local Area Service. The form of the local service tax ultimately chosen must be specified in the Local Area Service bylaw. Property owners can choose to either pay their share of the costs as a one time payment or elect to pay it annually over a period of time, (normally, fifteen years) with the accrued financing charge.
Local Area Services may be initiated either by property owners in the proposed local area, or by Council. Where initiated by Council, the proposed service is subject to a petition against. Each Local Area Service must be established by bylaw.
DOES THE CITY CONTRIBUTE TO LOCAL AREA SERVICE PROJECTS?
Cost sharing partnership by the City for LAS projects is considered on a case by case basis at the discretion of Council.
HOW DO I INITIATE A LOCAL AREA SERVICE PROJECT?
You can initiate a project for your neighbourhood by a petition.
The first step is to contact the Engineering Department to determine the benefiting properties and obtain a preliminary petition form.
A resident should then poll the benefiting property owners to garner support on the preliminary petition to determine the level of interest.
If a preliminary petition signifies sufficient interest, the Engineering Department will, subject to resource capacity and workload, proceed to determine the feasibility, scope and cost estimate for the work.
If the project is feasible, the Engineering Department will prepare a formal petition form for the benefiting property owners’ vote.
The process of the formal petition provides a property owner benefiting from, or impacted by the project, an opportunity to express support or opposition to the project.
Sufficient support for the petition means that of all the benefiting owners, at least 50% of the owners with an aggregate assessed property value of more than 50%, have signed the petition, effectively committing to pay their share of the service.
When a formal petition is certified ‘sufficient’ and Council approves the project, all owners of the benefiting properties become liable to pay their appropriate share of the costs.
After construction, the City assumes the responsibility of operating and maintaining those portions of the Local Area Service works that become part of the municipal infrastructure.
WHO DO I CONTACT?
If you wish to initiate a Local Area Service Project, or require additional information, contact the Engineering Department.