A local business owner is asking North Battleford council for a tax incentive for a new strip mall development near 15th Avenue on 100 Street.
Aaron Cadrin on behalf of LPG Holdings said while the city's tax incentive program is for downtown development, his project is only about a block from the downtown boundary.
"Obviously rules are rules, but I'm trying to show them how a project like this could do wonders for the city of North Battleford in regards to new investment, new infrastructure, new business," he told battlefordsNOW.
Cadrin said the project will also bring in much more tax revenue for the city and more jobs. Cadrin plans to construct the two-storey strip mall at 1542 100 Street to accommodate up to six businesses. While the project is just outside the downtown boundary, Cadrin said it is on "the key corridor, right on main street in North Battleford, on an empty lot that has been sitting there forever."
During a council meeting this week, he described 100 Street as a “gateway to people visiting our community,” while adding that the new project would help show off North Battleford to potential new investors. Cadrin had hoped to start construction on the project this fall.
Currently, the city's policy is that New Build Incentives are reserved for downtown development. The incentive covers 100 per cent of the municipal taxes for the first three years, followed by partial discounts in the fourth and fifth years of the program.
"Based on numerous conversations with many other prominent businesses owners in North Battleford they want to see a project like this go ahead," Cadrin said. "They agree with me also these incentives should be extended."
Cadrin currently owns and operates his business, Aaron M. Cadrin Investment and Insurance Solutions Inc., at 1512 100th St. He stated in his written submission he plans to move to the new space when it is ready and use two units in the establishment. There will be space for four more businesses to rent when the new site is complete.
Coun. Kent Lindgren was concerned about the city using the same incentive policy for downtown development on the outskirts, however Cadrin said he did try to find a location downtown but there wasn’t a place that suited his plans. Cadrin asked council to consider his request for the incentive.
Mayor Ryan Bater told reporters following the meeting it would be up to council to decide if it wants to return to the issue at a future meeting.
"For it to be considered by council, a member of council must provide a notice of motion before a council meeting ... so that council can debate and discuss it," he said. "If that doesn't happen, then it's not happening."
At its prior meeting in September, council approved a discretionary land-use application for the proposed development to permit the upper floor to be used for residences for managers and caretakers.
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