Eganville – Development charges are not seen as a good thing for Bonnechere Valley with Mayor Jennifer Murphy railing against the “ridiculousness” of the draft development charge policy presented to council by the County of Renfrew.
“I think it is really bad timing to be sending BV anything at this juncture,” she said at a committee meeting of council last week. “I think the thing that ticked me off the most is they are giving us a draft policy but they are not giving us amounts.”
The draft policy was sent to the township by the county and comments are due back by September. CAO Annette Gilchrist said could is looking at the draft policy and will bring a recommendation or comments back to council.
Mayor Murphy was not impressed with the vagueness of the document. She said just how much the charges would be is important to know before BV can fully comment.
“Are they going to be nominal or thousands of dollars which would make us non-competitive?” she asked.
The mayor said she will await staff comment and council can discuss it more then.
“I don’t believe this serves our community in the best way,” she added. “Those moneys will go straight to the County of Renfrew even though we would be the ones administering it.”
The mayor said having extra fees would not make BV competitive anymore. Whitewater Region just brought in development fees recently and the move was controversial.
Councillor Brent Patrick said he was glad staff would be bringing a report back to council. He said the irony is BV has prided itself on being competitive by not having the development fees at present. He pointed out the Quick Facts 2021 brochure showed as a bonus there are no developmental charges or planning permits in place.
“It is one of the incentives to move to our community we are looking at de-servicing or changing,” he said.
Mayor Murphy said a second challenge is council has repeatedly said they don’t want development fees and this goes against that on the county level.
“We are still going to be the bad guys at the counter because we are going to have to collect the fee,” she said. “They could not have chosen a worse time for this.”
Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader