The Town of Drumheller Council passed new economic development incentives. The change to the “Non-Residential Development Incentive Bylaw” was necessary due to amendments to the Municipal Government Act of Alberta and to make Drumheller a more competitive jurisdiction for investment attraction.
“This incentive program illustrates how Council is working to place Economic Development in our Town as a priority. This incentive was a key recommendation of the Economic Development Task Force and it was vital to keep the incentive up to date and competitive to show Drumheller is open for business,” said Mayor Heather Colberg.
The Bylaw has two incentive policies attached that include the “New Commercial Development Incentive Policy” which is based on a “Return on Investment” (ROI) giving the Town flexibility in determining the level of incentive. Considerations in the policy include direct, indirect and induced gains that clearly demonstrate how much the incentive adds to the local economy through employment and hiring of local services. The second policy, the “New Business Vacant Building Policy” gives new businesses moving into vacant commercial spaces a partial property tax abatement which is passed on to the business owner. The “New Business Vacant Building Policy” is a progressive economic development tool used to fill vacant commercial spaces.
“Drumheller is competing with 5,162 communities in Canada often vying for the same opportunities. In order to standout and be competitive, we must develop unique economic development policies that increase our odds at attracting investment opportunities. Having an incentive policy based on ROI gives the Town flexibility to tailor incentives based on the merits of development. The majority of municipalities in Canada use “cookie cutter” incentive policies that do not take into account the distinctiveness of a given development”, said Sean Wallace Manager of Economic Development.