Improvement District Services
Improvement districts are incorporated in order to provide one or more services to its
landowners. The services that they can provide are listed in their Letters Patent
- the document that incorporates each improvement district. The majority of
improvement districts (80%) provide water as their service. Other services that are
typically provided include fire protection, street lighting, garbage collection and dyking.
With the exception of fire protection, improvement district services can only be provided
within the boundary of an improvement district. Therefore, if the owner of a property
located outside the boundary wants to receive the services being provided by an improvement
district, the boundary of the improvement district must be re-described to include the property. The
boundary extension is
contingent on the agreement of the board of trustees that there is an ability to supply its
services to the property and the owner agrees to pay all costs in relation to the service.
Local Government Act gives improvement districts the authority to set rules in
relation to the services that they provide – whether it is
setting the price of the service or
regulating in relation to the service. The price of the service is collected in the form
of taxes, tolls (user charges) and other charges which are enacted by bylaws passed by the
board of trustees.
The regulatory authority, in relation to a service, allows a board of
trustees to restrict what people may do, prohibit some activities, or require certain
actions. For example, a board of trustees may want to impose sprinkling restrictions during
times when water levels are low. They may also prohibit people from connecting their water
line to a neighbour’s house. Regulations must also be enacted by bylaw.
When providing services, improvement districts themselves may be subject to provincial
rules such as the
Drinking Water Protection Act.
The Local Government Department has developed the
District Manual (235 KB) as
a resource for improvement districts which provides additional information about the topics on