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April 13, 2024 April 13, 2024

Council asked to reconsider Meadows price increase

Posted on March 21, 2024 by Taber Times

By Cal Braid
Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

At a March 11 regular meeting of Taber council, members revisited a previous discussion from Dec. 2023 about a one-time increase to the price of The Meadows lots by five per cent for 2024 with the option to seek council’s approval for annual lot price increases of approximately two per cent each year thereafter. During a Feb. 12 meeting, Coun. Bekkering made a motion to direct administration to accept the terms of the Meadows lot price increase contract amendment and authorized the CAO to sign the agreement. The motion was carried.

When it returned to the council chambers on March 11, administration brought forward a recommendation that said notwithstanding council’s Feb. 12 decision in which it carried the motion to accept the terms and authorize the signatures, council would agree to “consider the request to reconsider” accepting the terms and signing the agreement at the present meeting.

Administration projected a revenue increase of between approximately $1,680 up to $1,825 per lot sale (depending on price) in 2024.

Coun. Brewin was the first to voice his disapproval about the idea. 

“My thoughts on the five per cent price increase are that we’ve had very little luck selling lots at the price they are at now. To increase them five more per cent isn’t going to make them any easier to sell, so I’m in favour of not increasing the lot pricing.”

Coun. Sorensen agreed, but for another reason. 

“I was opposed during the initial vote, so I am opposed (to increasing the price.) We are trying to make this attainable living. We have struggled in the past trying to sell these lots and I just don’t think it’s in the Town’s favour to increase the price.”

Coun. Firth viewed it differently. “I can understand the sentiment that Coun. Brewin and Sorensen brought up and I don’t disagree, however I see that prices are increasing and as with any real estate transaction a buyer is certainly welcome to offer whatever they like. Not that the set price is irrelevant, but people have an opportunity to make an offer and the Town has the right to accept that offer or reject it. To increase the price…I don’t think it would deter people from making that offer, so I wouldn’t be opposed to it.” Coun. Bekkering agreed with Firth’s logic.

Mayor Prokop leaned towards the position taken by Brewin and Sorensen. “Selling the lots has not been easy, and the fact of the matter is we’re trying to maintain that attainable housing figure at $260,000 or less and have done so thus far. I would certainly be leaning against raising any lot price at this stage.”

Firth made a motion to approve the price increase and it was favoured in a 4-3 split vote.

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