Lambton Shores council sets rates
New development charges, water and waste water rates now are officially in effect, enforced by two bylaws passed by council on Jan. 16.
This year’s first bylaw setting development charges (DCs) over the next five years narrowly passed in a 5-4 vote. On the supporting side were Mayor Bill Weber, Deputy Mayor Doug Cook and councillors Dave Maguire (Ward One), Dan Sageman (Ward Two) and Jeff Wilcox (Ward Seven). Opponents were Gerry Rupke (Ward Three), Ronn Dodge (Ward Four), Rick Goodhand (Ward Five) and James Finlay (Ward Six).
Finlay was the lone dissenter in an 8-1 approval of 2018 rates for water consumption and ‘contributions’ to wastewater treatment facilities by properties served by piped sewers. Those rates and the new DCs were approved by council at a Dec. 12 meeting at which communication with the consulting firm B.M. Ross & Associates was conducted via Skype audio/video because a snowstorm challenged direct attendance.
Bylaw 02-2018 passed on Jan. 16 confirms increases of 4.6 per cent to water rates and six per cent to rates for wastewater — the volume of the latter based on the assumption that all (or most) of the metered water intake exits to the sewage system. Although Ontario’s inflation rate measured by the Consumer Price Index has been less than 1.5 per cent, B.M. Ross documents cited the need to “rebuild the financial position, improve cash flow and create ‘a positive reserve’ by the 2027 end of the planning period.”
Bylaw 01-2018 passed on Jan. 16 implements a wide range of changes to development charges which are to help pay for capital costs of providing services arising from new residential commercial and industrial development, costs not levied on ratepayers’ annual tax bills. Within 20 days of approval of a new DC bylaw, the municipality must issue a notice that it has been passed and that there are 40 days in which to appeal.
Some examples: For single and semi-detached residences built in the Grand Bend and West Bosanquet service areas, the 2017 rate of $9,983.00 rises to $11,448.94 for this year and $13,168.52 in 2019. In rural areas not served by sewers that rate this year is $9,407.59, rising to $11,127.17 in 2019.
In Forest, the comparable residential DCs will be $9,875.59 in 2018 and $11,595.17 in 2019. Getting extra encouragement, developers in Thedford and Arkona will pay $5,563.59 this year and apparently in the next four.
In other council news:
The Jan. 16 session devoted considerable time to discussion of a Grand Bend area resident’s request that snow plowing be extended on the Rotary recreational trail southward from Pinedale Road to Pinetree Drive.
A motion by Ward Two Coun. Dan Sageman, seconded by Ward One Coun. Dave Maguire that on a trial basis, winter maintenance be provided on the Rotary trail from Pinedale Subdivision to the entrance of Huron Woods at Pinetree Drive for the balance of the winter season was defeated on a recorded 5-4 vote. Sageman and Maguire were supported only by Ward Three’s Gerry Rupke and Ward Four’s Ronn Dodge. That was followed by approval of a recommendation “that winter maintenance on the Rotary Trail be provided within the Grand Bend connecting link up to Pinedale Road” by director of community services Steve McAuley who had conceded during the discussion that the extended service could be accommodated within the approved budget.