City council briefs

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September 3, 2015 8:15 AM

Five Lloydminster properties will be put up for public auction in November as a result of the owners’ failure to pay property taxes in more than two years.

Tax liens were registered against two of the properties in 2013, and the remaining in 2014. The owners received letters by Aug. 1 of the previous year stating that their properties will qualify for tax sale.

According to the Municipal Governments Act, if an agreement for payment of tax arrears isn’t reached between the municipality and the landowner, “Each municipality must offer for sale at a public auction any parcel of land shown on its tax arrears list if the tax arrears are not paid.”

Council approved the conditions of the sale at its Aug. 24 meeting. The reserve bids have been set at $395,000, $395,000, $291,890, $220,000 and $150,000. According to the city the prices are considered “as close as is reasonably possible” to market value.

The sales require a 10 per cent down payment within 48 hours of auction. The remaining balance is due within 30 days, also in the form of a bank draft. The payments must be made to the City of Lloydminster finance department in the form of bank drafts.

“The last thing the city wants to do is to take a house back or take a property back,” Coun. Lauchlan Cummine said.

“We try every angle that we can to keep them in the property and to keep the property in the owner’s name.”

Cummine says that if the arrears are paid on the day of the auction the properties will remain in the name of the original owners.

The auction will be held on Nov. 18 from 10 to 11 a.m. Interested bidders may contact the city for further information regarding the properties.

The City of Lloydminster has introduced new service standards for bylaw enforcement officers.

City council approved the new policy at its Aug. 24 meeting.

The city currently employs four full-time bylaw officers, on-call 24 hours per day, six days each week, responding to over 5,400 calls each year. To improve efficiency, the new standards establish a hierarchy of primary, secondary and limited or special duties.

“We have a service standard so people know what to expect when they’re requesting services,” protective services manager Doug Rodwell said.

“We just wanted to be able to prioritize calls as they come in.”

Primary duties are conducted on a daily or per-complaint basis. These services include public safety, non-moving traffic, downtown parking patrols, domestic animal control, neighborhood patrols including city owned facilities and parks, taxi monitoring and inspecting as well as the enforcement of municipal bylaws.

Secondary duties are done on a weekly or monthly basis and are either regulatory or safety-related. These include school zone patrols, court-related duties and assisting in city event.

Limited or special duties are less frequent and should not take away from primary or secondary duties. Some examples of these include pest control on residential property, assisting RCMP and fire services and enforcement parking bylaws on commercial private property in response to a complaint.

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