First reading for safety codes bylaw 0
During the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass triennial budget deliberations it was determined that the cost of many safety inspections were exceeding the permit fees that were being collected. In keeping with the strategic plan, Bylaw 843, 2012 - Safety Codes Service Fee Bylaw, has been created to reconcile this difference by levying the fees on the developer rather than spreading the cost across all of the tax payers.
Increases for 2012, 2013 and 2014 for commercial development safety code inspections will be 21.47%, 28.50% and 40.55%. These incremental increases were put in place because Council was concerned that the one-time 119% increase proposed during the Governance and Priorities Committee Meeting on June 19, 2012, could be too large of an impact on the commercial sector.
"The cost of these are still exceeding the revenue generated," said Mayor Bruce Decoux. "The reason for that was a lack of due diligence beginning 14 years ago. Councils have to increase these on regular basis...leaving a mess like this for someone else to clean up and not going out and facing the brunt of the taxpayers' wrath is skirting the problem, as far as I'm concerned.
Here we are, having to play catch up at today's taxpayers' expense which in my mind is unforgivable. However, there is nothing we can do about it. Due diligence has not been exerted here and it has to be done. We have to catch up."
Councillor Saje was against the bylaw, stating that the increase could negatively affect commercial development in The Pass.
"Any decision a Council make that may affect their economy, especially negatively, requires something called a risk assessment," said Saje. "Since that hasn't been done in this package it means that it's incomplete, so I will not be voting for it."
"The cost of doing business has gone up...and this is simply trying to cover that cost," responded Councillor Brian Gallant. "If we don't charge the developer that fee that public pays for it. It gets paid for one way or another."
The first reading passed with only Councillor Saje voting against the Bylaw.