As a result of the needs to upgrade both the water and waste-water treatment plans due to both development and population growth, town staff presented recommendations for changes to the development fee schedules. Under current provincial legislation, municipalities are permitted to collect development fees from building companies to cover specific costs related to community growth including water and waste-water operations. Staff recommended minor increases averaging just over 6%. They reiterated the town’s practice of ensuring that costs related to growth are covered by builders wherever and whenever possible. These plans were reviewed with the public at the open house held on May 15. Currently a portion of development fees are waived for certain project types in the downtown core as well as 4 areas the town considers strategic (former DRS property, former Findlay Foundry site, MacArthur Island, and vacant property near the Woolgrowers building).
Mayor Antonakos voiced his concerns that with current and future financial pressures that the town is experiencing, it is time to end these exemptions. As with the presentations on the water and waste-water operations upgrades, the public has until May 25th to provide comment with council planning on making decisions on future development fees in June.