The city has purchased about 90 acres of land for about $3.19 million in the so-called employment lands area of St. Albert.
On Monday, the city announced the portion of River Lot 8 that's within municipal boundaries now belongs to the City of St. Albert.
A news release said the money came from the revolving land fund reserve, which means it'll have no impact on the city's taxpayers.
The release said the purchase is to support economic development initiatives like increasing the non-residential tax base and to help address future land needs.
Mayor Nolan Crouse noted in an email this is the first willing landowner to make a sale in what the city calls the employment lands, an area of several hundred acres that's zoned for light industrial development.
In an interview, Crouse said a few years ago the city was looking for a deal to buy some land for future development that didn't work out.
Staff were directed to pursue this deal several months ago, with the final details given the OK by council last Monday in camera.
“The intent is just to hold it for now and then work on a site plan,” Crouse said of plans for the 90 acres. They might subdivide it eventually, or it might become a municipal works yard of some kind.
“The value is not going down,” Crouse said. “Council 10 or 20 years from now may decide to get into the development game or use it for other purposes.”
Crouse pointed out the city also owns the Badger Lands, about 80 acres to the north that could be used for a variety of purposes.
He's hopeful this sale may prompt others.
“We've also publicly set the price a little bit in terms of what these lands are worth. Hopefully what that'll do is trigger some of the folks that have been long-term farmers into more action,” Crouse said.
The land title provided by Crouse shows the transfer of land to the City of St. Albert valued at $3,199,959.
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