Sunday, August 2, 2015

Creekside Condo residents ask Town of Pincher Creek to assume responsibility for roadways

Toni Lucas

"We ask the town to take over the three roads that make up Creekside Crescent, and those are very identifiable," - Tom Halbert, Creekside Condos delegation

A delegation from Creekside Condos appeared before Town of Pincher Creek council on Tuesday evening, July 28.  The delegation asked the Town of Pincher Creek the Town of Pincher Creek to assume ownership of the road Adelaide Crescent and all roads in front of the different Creekside Condo units.

Resident Tom Halbert acted as spokesman for the meeting, with a number of the condominium residents in the visitors gallery.  According to Halbert the condos are actually townhouses and were represented as such when they were originally sold. The condo residents maintain that they do not receive the same services as a private residence does, services such as snow removal, street cleaning, garbage pick up, streetlight maintenance and repair, and sidewalk and pavement repair.  Residents have to be 55 or older.  Halbert said many of the residents are on a fixed income.

"We ask the town to take over the three roads that make up Creekside Crescent, and those are very identifiable," said Halbert.  "We understand that would require a transfer of property," Halbert explained the property, including the roadways, are currently considered private property.  "As a corporation we (the condo corporation would) pass a special motion transferring the title of that property to the Town of Pincher Creek, and would therefore become Town property similar to  any other residential roads."

The residents of the complex pay mill rate fees to the town and separate condo fees.  "Other municipalities in this province have taken over transfers of this nature," said Halbert.  "As long as it's private property, then it remains our responsibility."

"We pay the same mill rate as every other single residential owner in the town of Pincher Creek."

Councillor Doug Thornton explained that the mill rate is based on the fair market value of the dwellings in the town, and does not have anything to do with services such as garbage pick up or sewer and water.  "The only difference is the maintenance of the streets, is all we're really talking about," said Thornton.

Halbert said he has a Texas real estate licence. "My understanding is... anything from the home, from the residential street in front of the home to the building itself is the owner's responsibility.  But anything underneath that street if that has to be torn up, and that's what we're talking about."

"We are just requesting the streets.  Nothing more, nothing less."

"We are just hopeful that the town will resume ownership, and receive responsibility if there is pavement repair or something of that nature, as you would do with any other street." Thornton requested the engineering drawings from the condo corporation.  "Our engineer department, I think, would have to look at that and have to see the infrastructure."  Councillor Lorne Jackson had concerns regarding whether the roads in question were up to the engineering standards of the Town of Pincher Creek.

"We can sure try and come up with those drawings," said Halbert.

Mayor Anderberg explained the delegation process to Halbert, adding that council has fewer public meetings in the summer.  Anderberg said that may cause a delay of a month or more. as the next public council meeting is August 24 at 6:00 pm, and administration and operations departments will have to compile information for council to consider.

"We've waited 16 years," said Halbert, laughing.  He assured council that a delay of a month or more was not an issue if their concerns were heard.  "If you support the idea, in principle, subject to legal ramifications, etc..."

"Everything within the complex is our responsibility."

Anderberg suggested the proper word for the properties might be 'townhouses".  Halbert said he looked at the original brochures used to market the development and "The term condo was not used, the term townhomes was used."

"We will do our due diligence," said Mayor Anderberg, thanking the delegation for their presentation.

A delegation presents a concern to council and then that concern is brought forward at a later council meeting for discussion by council.  There are many possibilities after that.

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