Council Decisions: Additional Information

On May 16, 2022, in a Special Council Meeting, members of Council voted in favour of proceeding with the acquisition of land located at 30 South Railway Street (Plan 841 0463 Lot A), see image below.

30 South Railway Street

This land has been offered for sale by the landowner for several years. Throughout this past year, the Town has been in purchase negotiations with the landowner. Despite negotiations being well-intentioned by both parties, a purchase agreement could not be settled. This left Council with the decision to either forego the land acquisition or to move forward with an expropriation process.

The Government of Alberta Expropriation Act sets out the process by which expropriation occurs. Learn more about the expropriation process by clicking the button below.

Expropriation Process

As this particular piece of land is important to the Town and the community, Council voted in favour of pursuing land expropriation. The expropriation process began in May. Acquiring this land is important to the Town and the community for several key reasons:

  • Safeguarding the community through additional and flood mitigation and protection work,
  • Protecting the future of the community by remediating existing contamination at the site,
  • Enhancing the downtown experience through South Railway Street realignment,
  • Upgrading and installation of infrastructure and utility services,
  • Allow for future investment in the downtown as an economic driver of the community.

The Town remains committed to working through the process as set out by the Province and is hopeful that a fair outcome can be achieved so that this important work can be done.

Before engaging in purchase negotiations, the Town needed to consider possible future uses for this land once the contamination cleanup, flood mitigation, street realignment, infrastructure and utility work is complete. Although no decisions or commitments have been made, the Town considered various options for this land use from economic, social, and environmental perspectives.

As work continues to towards acquiring this land and as decisions are made, we will make updates to this page.

You are always welcome and encouraged to connect with any member of Council or Town Administration (see contact info below).

On April 11, 2022, Town Council voted in favour of approving a rent reduction request that was brought forward by Natural High Fitness. Natural High Fitness has been providing health and fitness services to the community of Okotoks at the Recreation Centre for over 15 years. Like many businesses, Natural High Fitness was negatively impacted by Provincially mandated closures. Several businesses have successfully negotiated with their landlords, rent reductions to help with the sustainability of their business.

In this case, the Town of Okotoks is the landlord for Natural High Fitness. Through our commitment to transparency, and as a government body requirement, when approving rent reductions to below current market values, we advertise the Town’s intent to approve their request. You may have seen the advertisement recently in the Western Wheel.

We know that some people have questions about this decision. In this video, Town CAO Vincent provides clarity surrounding some of the considerations Council faced in making the decision to support the request from Natural High Fitness.

Here you will find the Council meeting video and associated reports surrounding Council’s decision making process.

Additionally, you are always welcome to reach out to any member of Council or Town Administration.