Niagara’s development charges are among the lowest in southern Ontario — and the amount the Region collects annually covers less than a third of the cost of new infrastructure for development, said public works commissioner Ken Brothers. The Region already faces a $300-million capital budget shortfall over the next decade.
That should make the issue simple for council, Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey said.
“The money has to come from somewhere…. We don’t have a money tree growing behind regional headquarters,” Badawey said.
“The money is either going to come from the taxpayer, or it’s going to come from development charges.”
The consultant’s report suggests gradually increasing the fees for commercial and residential development over five years, from about $9 million annually to almost $17 million.