Maple Ridge incentive program extended

The incentives only will apply to commercial projects that cost more than a million dollars.

An extension of the town centre investment incentive plan that sparked a $100-million boom in downtown building received third reading at Maple Ridge council’s Nov. 26 meeting.

However, when it comes to new projects, the incentives only will apply to commercial projects that cost more than a million dollars. Developers will be able to get property tax exemptions of between three and six years, discounts on building permit fees, and fast tracking through the permit process.

Under the three-year residential incentive plan, which expires Dec. 31, developers who built in the downtown received similar incentives to build.

With that now ending, the commercial incentives only will be extended another year, ending in December 2014.

Recycling deal close

Council has also given third reading to a deal with Multi Materials B.C. that will see the industry group pay the District Maple Ridge a million dollars a year in compensation for selling recycled paper and packaging collected at the depot.

MMBC is a new organization that charges its members, basically any manufacturer, based on the type of packaging it uses.

The packaging and paper products collected by the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society are to be sold on the recycling market by MMBC, which would keep the proceeds.

Maple Ridge could have refused to participate in the program and just keep collecting and selling all its recyclables, but the deal with Multi Materials would provide a more stable revenue stream.

The district also had the choice of bowing out of recycling completely and letting Multi Materials do all the collection and recycling.

If given final approval, residents who separate their trash at curbside won’t notice any difference.

In May 2011, the province made industry responsible for recycling of packaging and paper, with a goal to raise the recycling rate from 50 per cent up to 75 per cent.  Multi-Material British Columbia was established to develop a stewardship plan to collect, process and re-sell the recycled material.

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