Increase coming to development charges in Brock Township

Development charges will soon be going up in Brock Township – but not by the amount initially suggested by a consultant.

Following a lengthy back-and-forth debate Monday (April 22), members of council reached a compromise and passed a series of three motions setting the rates for development charges over the next five years.

Residential development charges will nearly double from the $10,800 currently charged by the municipality, while the owners of existing single lots will get a bit of a break with fees set at $16,000.

Commercial and industrial development will cost $41.45 per square foot.

Those rates all fall short of the increases recommended by a consultant’s report that considered the municipality’s long-term capital forecast.

“There’s a long list of needs in this municipality – and some wants,” said Regional Councillor Ted Smith.

Residential rates were pegged at $20,000, a slight reduction of the $22,700 recommended by the consultant.

“It’s about finding a balance,” said Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble.

“If development doesn’t occur (because of high rates), we’ll see no development charges.”

A rate of $12,000 for single lots was briefly on the table with only Coun. Jubb and Coun. Doble voting in support.

“This motion is about supporting the little guy,” Coun. Jubb said.

Coun. Ted Smith said a $12,000 was “totally unrealistic” and noted that owners of single lots place the same service demand on the municipality as those that live in subdivisions.

“Everyone should be treated the same,” he said.

Despite those concerns, a reduced rate of $16,000 was eventually adopted.

Commercial and industrial rates will jump from just shy of $28 to $41.45 – a significant departure from the $55 recommended.

“It’s definitely a struggle to find employment…this will help bring jobs,” Coun. Doble said.

During a presentation back in February, consultant Craig Binning told local politicians that the study was conducted in collaboration with Township staff and the rate was “informed” by the municipality’s capital program for the next decade, stretching from 2019 to 2028.

The study also includes $1.5 million for a new works yard, $1.4 million for park improvements, $1.3 million for new fire department vehicles, $275,000 for a new tandem truck and $250,000 for the Cannington Curling Club.

But future roadwork is putting the “biggest upwards pressure” on the rates moving forward, Binning said.

Of the $19 million worth of work that is slated to be completed over the coming years, more than $8 million will be funded through development charges.

Council will have to pass a bylaw to formally establish development charge rates.

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