DRAYTON – Mapleton staff has been directed to investigate alternative solutions to discourage specific commercial buildings from being vacant.
The resolution was passed at the Feb. 11 council meeting in response to a notice of motion brought forward by councillor Marlene Ottens on Jan. 28.
“The motivation behind this is because we have a few commercial properties that have been empty for quite some time and I know we stopped giving a tax discount at some point, but it doesn’t seem to have encouraged them to rent it out,” Ottens said.
“So I feel like maybe we need to do it in the opposite direction and maybe if the taxes go up every year that they’re vacant then maybe that will make them a little bit more proactive in renting them out.”
She added, “Because it’s a blight on our downtown to just have vacant properties, especially when you do hear through the grapevine, whether it’s true or not, that people have made inquiries and are turned down.
“I don’t want these to be empty just for the sake of being empty.”
Councillor Dennis Craven asked if she was referring to vacant land as well as buildings.
“My thought would be the existing commercial buildings, an empty storefront for example,” Ottens said.
A motion to have staff investigate alternative solutions was passed unanimously by council.