Cornwall hiring consultant to study development charges

The entrance to the Cornwall city council chambers. (Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – Cornwall will be delving into the issue of whether to institute development charges for construction.

Council voted to spend $60,000 on Mississauga-based Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. to complete the study.

Showing his passion for the issue, Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy left his position as mayor Monday night to speak about development charges.

The mayor said the issue is “long overdue.”

O’Shaughnessy had earlier brought up the idea when he was a councillor.

But the mayor cautioned that it’s not a done deal. Just because the study is completed doesn’t necessarily mean the charges will be added to commercial and residential construction.

O’Shaughnessy said there are tight restrictions on how much can be charged.

Coun. Denis Carr didn’t want to spend the $60,000 on a study suggesting paid staff could come up with the information.

Coun. Claude McIntosh cited Brockville as an example where development charges were brought back last year after suspending them in 2009. He said that generated $35,000 in five months.

CFO Maureen Adams said it’s a fairly big exercise that the consultants will be doing “a multi-month exercise.”

The study will likely include public consultation.

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