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Town will borrow $4 million for new subdivision

After this summer, Iqaluit’s Road to Nowhere will become the Road to Somewhere. That’s where the muncipality will develop its newest subdivision.

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

MICHAELA RODRIGUE
Nunatsiaq News

IQALUIT — The Town of Iqaluit is set to borrow up to $5 million from the Nunavut government to build an 82-lot subdivision.

Town officials are negotiating a debenture with Nunavut’s Department of Community Government Housing and Transportation.

The agreement would finance the installation of utilidor pipes, power lines and roads needed for a subdivision next to the Road to Nowhere.

“We’re in the process of finalizing the debenture with the government. We hope to have it approved in late May,” said Denis Bedard, Iqaluit’s director of engineering and planning.

Bedard expects developing the site will cost $4 million.

This week town council awarded a contract to Rankin Inlet-based Kudlik Construction Ltd. The contract to do development work on the new subdivision is worth $3.45 million. The size of the final debenture will be larger, Bedard said.

Work is scheduled to begin in June and lots should be completed by end of September, Bedard said.

Under the debenture, the territorial government would directly lend Iqaluit the money to develop the site.

Iqaluit would then lease lots to interested government departments, private developers and individual residents, who could then build and make lease payments to the Town. Bedard estimates the lots will be leased for $40,000 to $45,000 each, based on the costs of development.

Under the terms of the debenture, the Town would be required to hand over any lease payments directly to the government, Bedard said.

Bedard expects the Nunavut government will charge Iqaluit an interest rate of approximately 6 per cent on the loan.

But Town council must first approve such a debenture. Once it goes to council, Bedard said there will be an opportunity for public input.

“We have to go through a process with the zoning bylaw that has to go to council for approval, which also opens it up to the public process,” Bedard said.

No vote by ratepayers

But the planned debenture will not require a vote by Iqaluit rate payers, said deputy senior administrative officer Okalik Curley.

That’s because the debenture will be paid back using lease payments, not property tax revenue from ratepayers, Curley said.

“Only the people who are using that portion of the land will pay (for the debenture),” Curley said.

The proposed development will include 69 single family residential lots, one commercial lot, and 12 multi-use lots that could be used for condominiums, townhouses and other high-density developments.

With Iqaluit’s population expected to increase at a 20 per cent clip this year, Bedard said the subdivision is sorely needed.

“There’s a tremendous demand for land in this town right now,” Bedard said.

The federal government is looking for 40 to 50 lots in Iqaluit and this subdivision is one of a few options, Bedard said.

A request for proposal will be issued for the 12 multi-use lots planned will be sent out for request for proposal. Town council can then approve or turn down the proposals.

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