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MD of Willow Creek explores gravel pit levy

MD of Willow Creek council wants more information on a levy that would be charged on any gravel leaving a pit in the municipality.

At its Dec. 21 meeting, council heard a report from director of infrastructure Craig Pittman on a community aggregate payment levy.

Pittman explained the MD of Willow Creek has a good source of aggregate gravel in the Fort Macleod area.

Some of that material is being excavated and sent outside the municipal boundaries.

Pittman discussed the idea of a levy on aggregate.

Pittman cited one source where a municipality charged 25 cents per tonne on gravel that leaves the pit, noting pits on Crown lands are not subject to the levy.

Pittman said there would be push-back from industry because they would lose their competitive advantage, and have to pass the levy charge on to the end user.

The MD of Willow Creek could collect the levy itself or have the government collect it.

The funds generated would be intended to support infrastructure, such as roads and bridges leading to gravel pits.

Pittman also noted the maximum a levy can be is 40 cents per tonne, adding typically in the by-laws he reviewed it was 25 cents.

Coun. John Van Driesten said administration should look into it.

Pittman stressed the levy would be on any gravel leaving a pit, not just leaving the MD of Willow Creek.

Van Driesten said it would affect the MD of Willow Creek’s gravel pits too, and Pittman responded it would.

Councillors agreed they wanted more information, and Pittman will put together information and a request for decision for council.