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Residents in the West Quesnel Land Stability area may have to pay a parcel tax down the road

The idea of a parcel tax for future drainage projects on residents living in the West Quesnel Land Stability area was raised at last (Tuesday) night’s City Council meeting.

The recommendation came from staff, and there was no objection to it around the table.

Mayor Bob Simpson.

“What we’re basically saying to those folks over there is don’t expect another big wave of capital investment.  If there is going to be another big wave of capital investment we’re coming knocking on your door for a contribution to that, which should have quite frankly been done at the very beginning of all of this.”

It was also noted however, that the city would continue to monitor movement, maintain the monitoring equipment, and maintain installed infrastructure.

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Residents living in that area can also expect heightened building restrictions to remain in place for the foreseeable future, and that due to the long term nature of this movement that it didn’t fit in with the province’s disaster financial assistance program.

Once again, Mayor Simpson.

“We’re closing the book on a promise that previous Councils have made that somehow there is going to be redress for individual homeowners who have seen their homes pulled apart, and the answer to that is where won’t be.  They are on their own for that.”

The report last night indicated that more than 17 million dollars has been spent in this area over the years on installing pumping wells, horizontal drains, storm water infrastructure and monitoring systems.

That bill has been split between the city, the province, and the federal government.

Despite all that, 84 millimetres of movement was recorded in 2020, compared to an average of just 13 millimetres between 2013 and 2019.

Assessments in this area still went up despite all of this, something that was questioned by Councillor Ron Paull.

Mayor Simpson did offer some potential help to some of those living in the area.

“Any landowner that is seeing a bump on land that they don’t believe is developable should get into the appeal process right away.  They’ve got a case that can be supported by documentation that we can provide to make a pretty substantive appeal to BC Assessment.”

Council will hold a public meeting in the future, and a news letter will be going out to residents in the West Quesnel Land Stability area.

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