By Kenyon Stronski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Douglas Bergen from Douglas J Bergen & Associates Ltd. appeared before town council on Mar. 14 to present new and old information about the Taber Meadows Project as well as answer any questions council had.
“I’m here to bring you an update on the Meadows, our very exciting manufactured housing project here in Taber. I’ll be going over much of my presentation from last time for those of you who are new here. In May of 2019, Gary Scherer (director of Engineering and Public Works) and Phyllis Monks set up a meeting with me to visit the Station grounds and the Seasons, the two manufactured home communities that I have out there with the preface that they were looking to do the same initiative in Taber,” said Bergen. “After a long conversation, we decided that the solution would be to perhaps introduce manufactured housing to your community. The goal was to do something sustainable in your town and the solution was to model it after the communities in Coaldale, and the result is the Meadows that is now substantially complete phase one as of October last year, all the infrastructure is in the ground and the lots are ready for occupancy.”
“You wonder why manufactured housing,” continued Bergen, “And I asked the same thing when I got into this business 22 years ago. But I found the industry actually does a very poor job in promoting manufactured housing because of its low carbon footprint, so you can appreciate that. Stick build housing, you have a concrete truck idling on the road, you’ve got numerous trips for contractors back and forth to the site, you’ve got adhesive issues and you don’t have any of that in factory-built homes. They are very well built to a very high standard. It’s fairly economical so prior to cover hitting the supply chain has definitely changed things a little bit with the cost of a home but the average 1,500 square foot home on a lot you could live in a brand new house for less than $250,000, so it’s certainly a very economical product. And it offers a higher standard of living than most entry-level housing so if you can imagine yourself renting an apartment, mortgage payments are not much different, you’ve got a large lot, privacy, can grow a garden and you can build a garage so there are huge benefits to the independence and standard of living you have. Our first phase is 95 lots, and some things we did for efficiencies is we’ve made a diagonal swathe that is the TID line so we can keep it in place. So maintaining that and also employing many tricks we’ve learned over the last 20 years we’re able to deliver you 300 lots on sixty acres with the starting price of $68,900. You’ll see that most of the lots are between $68,000 and $70,000. There are a few along the park that are $77,900, but for the most part, it’s $68,900 plus the home itself which is really unheard of anywhere in the marketplace.”
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