Serving Dorchester, Belmont, Thorndale, Thamesford, Putnam, Crampton, Avon, Harrietsville, Mossley and surrounding area
photo courtesy of Stihl Timbersports
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP COMES TO TOWN: Marcel Dupuis hacks his way through a log during the springboard event on Sunday at the FlightExec Centre, part of the Stihl Timbersports Canadian Championship. Dupuis was named the 2021 Canadian men's champion. Visit the Stihl Timbersports Facebook page to check out some coverage of the events. Six television episodes will be created with footage from the event and aired on TSN in October until the spring of 2022. Dupuis will be heading to the world championship in Munich next month to represent Canada.


Building fees to increase

for first time since 2005

by Wendy Spence
THE SIGNPOST

        Beginning next year, the municipality will be increasing building fees. It will be the first increase since 2005. The fees will be implemented based on a three-year phase-in, beginning on January 1, 2022. Building permit fees are to be updated annually through an indexing provision based on the percentage increase of the consumer price index (CPI) as of September 30 of the previous year. A minimum target for the building permit stabilization reserve will be established at 100 per cent of the operating expenditures.
        The last comprehensive building permit user fee study for Thames Centre was done in 2005. Since then, the CPI has increased by about 30 per cent. BMA Management Consulting Inc. did the review this year.
        New fees were recommended for roof mounted solar panels, the transfer of a permit, re-examination of plans due to a material change in the application and a re-inspection fee on the third inspection because of an infraction identified at a previous inspection.
        The new fees will result in an increase of $253 for a 1,900 square foot single family residential unit in 2022. Based on the proposed fees and an inflation increase of two per cent, the impact will then be $519 in 2023 and $728 in 2024.
        Some of the new fees include: $510 for new sewage systems and $255 for repairs to existing systems; a minimum fee of $160 for garages and car ports and a fee of 48 cents per square foot; $160 for decks, porches, wood stoves, swimming pools and accessory buildings; $230 for accessory structures in agricultural zones; $80 for portable signs; $230 for roof mounted solar panels; $260 for residential demolitions and $460 for non-residential demolitions.
        The purpose of the study was to ensure that fees are fair, reasonable and proportionate to the cost of service; distribute costs equally between the various types of applications; and to recover 100 per cent of the full cost of service.
        BMA conducted interviews with members of the building department to gather information. They mapped out their processes, estimated productive hours, identified direct and indirect costs and compared fees to other neighbouring municipalities.
        Moving forward, a comprehensive building permit user fee will be completed every five years.
        The study and fees can be viewed within the agenda for the September 13 council meeting.
        Staff will amend and update the existing building bylaw and consolidate the new proposed building permit fees with the fees and charges bylaw, to take effect on January 1, 2022.

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