Southgate council got a quick picture of what lies ahead in the journey toward eventual annexation of land in Melancthon, northeast of the Dundalk traffic lights.
“Things are going well, but it’s not a fast journey,” CAO David Milliner told council.
“It’s a bit more complex because it’s not just across municipal boundaries for lower tiers, but it’s across municipal boundaries for upper tiers.”
He said that Melancthon was quite interested and talks have been positive. The township went through a boundary adjustment in Shelburne in the early 2000s.
He explained that Melancthon doesn’t have any “urban” services water and wastewater, and doesn’t want to take on the cost of supplying them for a limited developed area.
In boundary adjustments, there is usually a 10-year period during which increased taxation as the area is developed is shared between the municipalities according to the agreement reached, he said.
As well, there should be advantages to Melancthon, said Deputy-Mayor Brian Milne. “Any of this growth should be positive for the whole area.”
Mr. Milliner pointed out that the annexation issue will probably come up with Mount Forest in the west end of the township, only with Southgate in the opposite role.
Annexations move jurisdiction for land from one municipality to another and are eventually approved at the provincial level.
Council’s motion authorized continuing talks with the Mayors and CAOs of Melancthon and Southgate and county staff as well. It also called on those involved to keep council informed of progress.
The first stage of the process would be a Memorandum of Agreement which would be the framework for the annexation.
Coun. Dobreen said that about five years ago a property-owner wanted to develop the south-east corner and a whether that servicing could be used by the southern side since services will go across the highway.
CAO Dave Milliner’s answer was that if that property owner wanted to look into that after the fact it would be separate. He stated that this annexation “would be a larger parcel.”
“It’s all owned by Flato,” he said. He has been told it is 50 acres abutting the south part of the Eco-Park (west side of Hwy. 10) and 200 acres on the north-east corner at the stoplights, but Mr. Milliner said he has not seen the legal descriptions yet.
It’s the developer who will have to do the studies and absorb costs of the servicing crossing Highway 10, he said.
Coun. Dobreen asked if the township was on the hook for any of the costs associated with the annexation. She commented that development should pay for development.
CAO Dave Milliner said there will be legal costs to do the work, but it should be covered by increase of taxation revenue over time.
Early stages should be straight-forward, but there will be issues that will come up as the area develops, he said.
As well, he suggested that this will just be the first stage of annexation. He said that as the area becomes more built up, the provincial highway possibly could be turned into a county road to allow more local control over signage and speed limits and more. He said that other issues, such as county services like plowing also have to worked out.
Mayor John Woodbury raised the long history of the situation of Dundalk being overlooked, just because it doesn’t encompass the highway.
“Possibly having both sides, and having it look more built-up may do a lot for this area of the township – the eastern area.”
Municipalities may restructure to accommodate future growth. Restructuring proposals are developed locally and implemented by a Minister’s order, at the Minister’s discretion.
M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald