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Woolwich user fees get boosted for the new year

Doing business with the township, from hitting the ice at an arena to building a new home, will cost you more next year.

Most fees and charges are slated to go up by 1.5 per cent, in keeping with the general tax rate increase set last month by Woolwich council. A few remain unchanged, while those related to the fire department will rise by 2 per cent and cemetery fees will increase by 5 per cent, reflecting a study of fees in surrounding municipalities.

Meeting Tuesday night, councillors passed the new charges with little debate.

Rate hikes for ice rentals have proved the most contentious is recent years, but there was no discussion of the topic, nor were any of the user groups on hand to discuss the changes.

Having this year shifted the schedule for primetime ice rentals, a de facto price increase, and imposed rate hikes well above inflation in previous years, 1.5 per cent represents the smallest change in some time.

The new arena fees, which will go into effect as of next August, see primetime ice rentals at the Woolwich Township and Jim McLeod arenas rise to $199.41 from $196.46 and to $204.79 from $201.76 at the Dan Snyder Arena. The rate for affiliate youth organizations goes to $132.76 from $130.80.

For non-prime times, the prices increase to $112.28 from $110.62 at the Woolwich Township, McLeod and Snyder arenas, while the youth rate rises to $74.55 from $73.37.

Included in the long list of fees are two new charges in the council and information services department.

A bird-deterrent machine, previously available to residents free of charge, will cost $25, with a $50 deposit. The machine was acquired about 12 years ago when residents of Elmira’s Birdland subdivision began complaining about large flocks of starlings and grackles nesting in the trees. The machine proved effective and the problem has diminished, but the township still receives requests for use of the device. The new fee will fund new batteries and maintenance of the machine.

The second new charge is a municipal drainage works administration fee, implemented in response to a growing demand for new municipal drainage works and maintenance on existing municipal drains. The fee will be 10 per cent of the total project cost. Wellesley Township has a similar fee, set at 8 per cent, noted director of finance Richard Petherick in his report to council.

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