What is the process for a Local Improvement Levy in Villeneuve?
The process for initiating a Local Improvement Levy is established under Part 10, Division 7 (Sections 391 – 409) of the Municipal Government Act.
On March 8, a community meeting was held with the residents of Villeneuve to discuss different scenarios for a fence along Highway 44 (the “Villeneuve Fence”). At that meeting, several fencing options were discussed along with potential funding models.
At this time, there is no guaranteed funding source for this project. The County could review the cost of a fence and consider it as part of the 2024 budget deliberations this fall. There is no promise that the project will be fully funded in the budget.
At the March 8 meeting, one funding model that was discussed was a community-led Local Improvement levy. This is a community driven initiative that residents of Villeneuve can choose to undertake. The process begins with a Petition to the County. The details of how to make the petition are outlined in the Government of Alberta resources attached here and the steps to the process are listed below.
- Sturgeon County Local Improvement Levy
- Government of Alberta, “Petition to council” Information
- Government of Alberta, Guide to Property Assessment and Taxation
Steps to implementing a Local Improvement levy
Step 1: County prepares Local Improvement plan
The Local Improvement Plan must include:
- Description of the local improvement with location
- List the properties and persons liable to pay
- How the tax rate will be established
- Estimated cost of the work
- Term of cost to the property owners
- How much of the project cost will be paid by:
- County funds
- Local Improvement Tax
- Other revenue sources (grants, etc)
Step 2: Resident(s) circulate Petition Package
The petition must include a petition form, rates sheet, initial estimated cost, map, statement of witness and affidavit. It must be circulated in person to obtain signatures from all affected property owners. To be valid, at least two-thirds of the affected property owners must sign in favour of the local improvement. All signatures must be obtained within a 60-day period.
We encourage you to review the Government of Alberta document “Petition to council” (GOA, 2019) linked at the top of the page. It contains examples of the forms needed and explains the processes.
Please note: the owner of multiple properties within the affected area will count as only one vote.
Step 3: Notice of Intention and improvement plan sent to owners
When a valid petition is received by the County, a Notice of Intention letter is sent to all affected residents. This letter indicates:
- The type and scope of work proposed
- The cost of the project for the affected property owner
Affected citizens have 30 days from the mailing date of this notice to appeal through the Petition Against process.
Step 4: Bylaw is prepared
Step 5: 30-day petition period
Petition Against packages are available only after a Notice of Intention letter has been received by affected property owners. Affected citizens have 30 days from the mailing date of this notice to appeal through the Petition Against process.
For a petition (for or against) to be sufficient, it must have:
- Support from 2/3 of the property owners liable to pay Local Improvement Levy AND must represent half (50%) of the assessed value
- Validity of the petition, determined by the CAO of Sturgeon County
The County will work with interested residents to understand what is required for a valid petition.
Step 6: Bylaw passed by council
If the Local Improvement Plan passes the petition process, Council can impose the Local Improvement Levy any time in the three years following the notice. Council can either pass the Bylaw before the final cost is determined or wait until the project is complete and the final costs are determined.
Step 7: Project begins construction
Work can proceed in the affected area.
Step 8: Local Improvement levy is imposed
We know this is an important issue for Villeneuve residents, and we are committed to working with you on a community-led solution.
Sturgeon County staff will be working with residents to share project information, answer questions and gather feedback.
Watch the Villeneuve Community Conversation webpage for more information on this project.