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Town of Wilkie approves post office subdivision for internet tower

Lana Gerein and Lori Fenrich found that the application for subdivision doesn't go against the town's community planning bylaw.
The Wilkie Post Office property will be subdivided to separate the main area from an area hosting an inernet tower.

WILKIE - The Swift-Net internet company submitted an application to subdivide their land in the town of Wilkie, separating the tower behind the post office from the rest of the property, with town council approving the subdivision at their Monday, April 24 council meeting. 

“I believe the reason why they want to do that is they do not want to be responsible, they don’t want to own buildings,” Lana Gerein, the town’s administrator, said to council, reminding them that Swift-Net is a rural internet company.

“I believe they probably at some point want to sell off the building and just keep the tower under their umbrella,” Gerein said.

Gerein and Lori Fenrich, the town’s economic development officer, consulted the town’s community planning bylaw and found nothing in the application conflicting with the bylaw. 

“It’s still supporting town businesses, they still have access to the back of the property from the back lane … it doesn’t impede access to the post office at all,” Gerein said.

“We couldn’t find anything that impeded our community planning.” 

Councillor Jackson inquired if it will change the tax base, with Gerein adding, “It will change the tax base in such a way, as we will have another base tax on the tower portion and a base tax on the post office portion,” she said, speculating that it may be in the realm of $500.

“They’re valuing that parcel at $75,000,” Councillor David Dornstauder noted, reading from documents provided to the council.

“Now there's two pieces of land, so we’ll get base taxes on both rather than on one. But the improvement amount stays the same.” 

Councillor Jackson and Councillor Jerel Wood made and seconded the motion that passed council.