Boom in building in Dundalk has an impact on 2021 budget discussions

·2 min read

When council had its first look at the capital budget it discussed using outside consultants to complete some crucial planning projects.

Southgate needs to do an industrial plan, urban expansion and updates to the official plan and zoning bylaw.

Asked why outside help was needed, township planner Clint Stredwick told council it comes down to workload.

Of course, subdivision proposals are now coming in regularly he said. “It’s not just residential any more. It’s commercial and industrial… They all require site plans, they require thought,”

If he was to take up those extra projects, “you would have people breaking down your door asking where your planner is,” Mr. Stredwick said.

Coun. Jason Rice posed the question about the pace of development, and the costs. Mr. Stredwick said that growth will come to an end unless the limits of wastewater capacity are solved.

CAO Dave Milliner expanded on that. He agreed that you don’t want to spend money building capacity that isn’t used, and no one can predict if current interest in Dundalk will stay strong.

But right now, he said, the demand is high, and he and the planner are fielding many, many calls from people who want to move their business out of Toronto.

The new interest in living in Dundalk drives pressure on pricing in our community to almost unaffordable levels for some people, he said, but it also drives the economy.

The budget also contains expenses to open up more land for development.

About $1.7 million will be spent in 2021 on the first phase of construction of the Highway 10 Bypass, which was deferred to 2021. In 2022, an estimate of $2.3 million is given for the second phase of that construction.

About $1 million from the sale of industrial land is expected in 2021, an amount that also was deferred from this year.

Water and wastewater are budget categories that don’t come out of resident’s taxes. Money for big water and wastewater projects comes from reserves that are built up from user fees and from Development Charges.

Design for the new Dundalk water tower is planned for 2021, with the tower to be built in 2022. Also, servicing will be changed to a loop rather than a dead end at Hagan and Gold Street .

While 2021 will see pump replacements, in 2022 about $16 million is forecast for sewage treatment facility upgrades. Work will also have to be done within the next five years on pumping stations to move sewage.

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald