Discount deal back on the table

Herald file photo. The City of Prince Albert is looking to increase housing starts by offering 15 per cent discounts on 66 city owned lots in February and March. The discount is an extension of a program that began last year to help boost the economy, but there are concerns it could hinder development in the future.

The City of Prince Albert will continue a land sale discount incentive in hopes of boosting local development.

In January 2016, the city implemented a plan to help boost new housing starts, which were down two years in a row. In total, nine properties were sold out of 45 put up for sale at a discount as part of the incentive.

On Monday, Jan. 23, city councilors voted to extend the plan into February and March with the goal of further expanding growth.

“We were hoping that the economics of our society would turn around in 2016, but it’s actually worsened,” Mayor Greg Dionne said. “We have some contractors laying off staff, we have service industries laying off staff because there’s no work, so we’re concerned.”

In 2015, the city sold only two lots for development. They expected to sell more than nine in 2016, but Dionne said he was simply happy to see an increase. Out of the nine lots purchased last year, eight have already received building permits from the city.

To read the rest of this story, please see the Jan. 28 online or print editions of the Daily Herald.