A Williams Lake Councillor is speaking out against a proposed tax exemption bylaw in the Central Industrial area that would include all industrial-zoned properties on the West side of Williams Lake Creek.
Councillor Scott Nelson said Tuesday he would not be supporting it after Council received a report and a draft of the bylaw.
“I support probably 95 percent of really the action that’s taking place because we want to encourage the redevelopment along that corridor, but specifically it’s tied to the industrial lands on the head of the lake which I’ve been strong a proponent of reintroducing that to the community and making it more of a public use facility.”
Nelson says he believes that the community would rather see recreation or other types of zoning.
The bylaw which Mayor Walt Cobb said would be application driven would be for 5 years and depend on the evaluation of the capital improvement being made. Cobb also said the bylaw is similar to the North End area revitalization bylaw.
“It’s only for additions, it’s not for something that’s already there,” he said.
“If you have a million dollar asset, and you decide to put a half a million dollar addition on it, you only get an exemption on the increased value.”
Council consideration’s for a revitalization tax exemption program was requested on March 12 by KentMacpherson, an independent real estate valuation, consulting and advisory services company, on behalf of Tolko Industries Ltd. for its Lakeview sawmill that was destroyed by a fire in November.
The purpose of establishing the new revitalization program for the Central Industrial Area according to a report by the City’s Chief Financial Officer, Vitali Kozubenko is to promote new industrial development in the specific Central Industrial Area of the City in order to increase the city’s industrial tax base, increase sustainable job creation, and encourage green building practices.
“What you’re doing is you’re broad basing an entire policy and Council has the flexibility not to put that policy on the head of the lake,” maintains Nelson.
“I don’t think you want to encourage development on the head of the lake.”