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Springwater looking for input on user fees, charges

Upcoming public consultation marks township's first comprehensive review in more than 10 years
Springwater Township will host an information session and public consultation on fees and charges on Feb. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the township's Administration Centre.

For the first time in years, Springwater Township is conducting a comprehensive review of its fees and charges.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29, the municipality will host an information session and public consultation at the township’s Administration Centre on Nursery Road in Midhurst to get feedback from residents and other groups regarding the fees and charges related to municipal law enforcement, fire and emergency services, planning and development, parkland dedication, public works, cemeteries, and general administrative fees.

The building department, recreation, parks and facilities user fees are not included as part of this consultation, but are expected to take place separately at a future date.

“Although the township reviews its fees and charges annually, a comprehensive review to this extent has not been undertaken in over 10 years,” said Jeff Schmidt, Springwater's chief administrative officer. “By completing this review, the township would be able to quantify the subsidies that are currently being provided to different user groups/associations and would also ensure the township is recovering competitive user fees and charges in comparison to neighbouring municipalities.”

In 2022, the municipality hired Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. to review the its user fees. The goal was to determine the full cost of services provided and recommend a fee structure that would balance Springwater’s cost recovery and decrease the tax burden while also considering affordability and competitiveness of the market.  

Following the completion of the fees and charges study, a proposed bylaw was considered as part of the 2023 budget deliberations.

Springwater council passed a new bylaw establishing general fees.

In the spring of 2023, council had passed a resolution to amend most of the fees and charges schedule, with exceptions, to reflect the 2022 rates.

“Many municipalities have diversified and expanded their revenue base in recent years to reduce their dependence on municipal taxation as the major revenue source,” said Schmidt. “User fees and charges allow the township to recover the expenditure(s) created by single-use services that are unbudgeted and will relieve the financial impact placed on reserves and taxation.”

Residents who are interested in participating or listening to the session can do so in a number of ways, including in-person at the Springwater Administration Centre, located at 2231 Nursery Rd., just west of the Simcoe County Museum.

You can listen via telephone by dialing 1-647-558-0588 and inputting the meeting ID: 870 3705 7614. You can watch the session via Zoom by logging onto this website and inputting the meeting ID: 870 3705 7614.

Or, you could watch the public session livestreamed on the township’s YouTube channel.

Anyone who would like to comment or participate in the hybrid public consultation virtually is asked to pre-register with the township prior to Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m., by emailing [email protected] or calling 705-728-4784 x 2055.

Anyone wishing to make comment or participate in person will not be required to pre-register.

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Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Wayne Doyle covers the townships of Springwater, Oro-Medonte and Essa for BarrieToday under the Local Journalism Initiative (LJI), which is funded by the Government of Canada
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