At the Council in Committee Finance & Admin meeting (CiC) held on February 7 both the Acting Treasurer and the CAO/Clerk recommended that Council revisit the issue of raising revenue by bringing back development charges. At the time Council did not agree to accept the CAO’s recommendation. Click HERE for The Current’s report. However, when the Minutes of that meeting came to be considered at the Council meeting on February 19, Councillor Willmer reopened the subject. He said that having thought about it since the earlier meeting, given his experience with development charges in other councils and municipalities, he would prefer to see the subject given some further consideration. Willmer said,
I think as Councillor Peplinski says it hasn’t been looked at for four or five years. There are many different ways you can use development charges and I think we should look at it. I believe Madawaska Valley is going to grow. It is a place where people want to come and I think we need to find sources of revenue. We need to find sources that can improve the lifestyle for everyone and new development should fund that.
After the Mayor pointed out that the development charges in MV had traditionally only related to Water & Wastewater, Willmer added,
That’s correct. I look at it from funding everything from new fire equipment to funding new parks to whatever we need to do.
After discussion, it was agreed that the subject should be investigated after this year’s budget process. CAO Klatt recommended passing a Resolution as follows:
That Council direct the CAO/Clerk to bring an informational presentation outlining options and use of development charges and review different models for Council’s information.
It was passed after being moved by Councillor Willmer and seconded by Councillor Bromwich.
At the same meeting, Council discussed Mayor Love’s presentation to MPP Doug Downey, Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli, in Bancroft on January 31 regarding the potential impact of changes to Ontario Municipal Partnership Funding (OMPF) on smaller rural municipalities. Council heard that after the presentation the Ministry sent a letter dated February 13 saying it would maintain the same structure and level of funding for 2019. The letter will be on the March 5 CiC agenda. In 2018 MV received $1.5 million through OMPF.
Items added to Agenda
Council confirmed other recommendations and Minutes as presented with few amendments. Two new items were raised at the meeting with deadlines of March 1. Council agreed to apply for the 2019 ParticipACTION Community Better grant program as it offers possible funding without major upfront cost to the municipality. Council also agreed to pay the entry fee of $708.75 so that MV could compete in the 2019 Communities in Bloom program.
Shown above from left: Carl Bromwich, Mark Willmer, Kim Love, Suzanne Klatt, David Shulist, Ernie Peplinski