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Public Works

Frequently Asked Questions

Local Improvements

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When does construction take place if a local improvement is successful?

Construction of local improvements usually takes place in the year following the year the improvement was initiated.

Local Improvement Petitions with 60% or greater support but less than 100% support of the benefitting property, are first directed to Community Committee for approval to advertise. If no successful petition against is received as a result of the advertisement, the local improvement is considered by subcommittees of council and then sent to council for rejection or approval with a subsequent Authorization By-law to proceed with construction. Authorized local improvements are awarded by requests for proposals to engineering consultants for design, construction contract preparation and contract administration.

If the local improvement is not successful after advertising, how long do I have to wait to initiate the project again?

When a local improvement is defeated by way of a formal petition against after advertising, the project may not be advertised for another two (2) years.

Do I have to pay for city property fronting a local improvement?

Sort of, as a small portion of all municipal taxes cover the City at large costs for local improvements. These costs include a proportionate amount for benefitting City property.

Will my present taxes cover any local improvement charges?

Only to the extent described above. As a benefitting property owner of a local improvement you will be further assessed in accordance with local improvement rates. The City "front ends" the funds required to complete local improvements. In the year following completion of the improvement benefitting property owners receive notices of assessment and the option to pay for their share of the costs as a cash payment or to have the costs added to their municipal taxes over a defined term.

I have a gravel lane that requires additional gravel and Streets Maintenance personnel referred me to the local improvement process. Why?

Adopted City policy for granular lanes is that maintenance work shall consist of grading only. Grading will level off low areas. Where feasible, the addition of gravel can be done as a Local Improvement with the benefiting properties being assessed. However placing additional gravel in a lane that already has poor surface drainage often results in further drainage problems. Paving of the lane which includes installation of land drainage appurtenances is the best solution for gravel lanes that are prone to deterioration due to poor surface drainage. 

Read more about gravel/granular lanes.


Last update: March 14, 2017