Town council has passed a motion directing administration to pursue options for increasing the municipal inventory of land as soon as practical.

Judy Goucher: SAO says plan needed to expedite the availability of land. NNSL file photo

In a written report to council on the lands inventory on Sept. 26, finance director Ruth Boden noted the amount of land the town has for sale is dwindling.

Six land sales passed first and second reading of council on Sept. 26. If they get final approval, that would leave six residential lots and one industrial lot in the town’s land inventory.

“The General Plan makes reference to a requirement for the Town to have adequate supply of land, however it does not define “adequate supply,” wrote Boden. “It could be argued that the current inventory of less than 10 lots, with limited residential lots, only a single industrial lot, no multi-family lots and no commercial lots would not meet the test of “adequate.”

Judy Goucher, the senior administrative officer for the town, also recognized the problem with the land inventory.

“We will be talking very soon about how we can expedite plans to start working on developments, such as Fraser Place, because we have less than 10 lots available for purchase at this point in time,” she said. “So we definitely need to come up with a plan to expedite the availability of land in this town and that means developing.”

Deputy mayor Donna Lee Jungkind said she was in full support of the motion.

“I think one of the important things to know, which is in the background of this, is that we are as the Town of Hay River required to have a supply of land, and it’s not just residential land,” she noted. “There’s industrial land, multi-family, commercial.”

Mayor Brad Mapes, who has previously raised concern about the supply of land, said the town has to start dealing with the issue.

“Wherever we’re going to develop, whether it’s Fraser Place, by the hospital, by 553, we’re talking two years before you’re going to see us able to do it,” he said. “So we need to get looking at designing what we want to have, find out what the costs are. This motion is the next step to try to move our community.”

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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