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Wellesley ponders changes to fees for various township services

Wellesley is looking at some changes to the fees it charges for various services, a review that’s part of its 2018 budget process.

Meeting Tuesday night, councillors evaluated changes that include an open burn permit “rush rate,” a simplification of building permit fees, and a proposal to exempt the township recreation boards from a lottery charge.

The open burn permit rush rates are being offered for people in the township who need a permit on short notice. The standard open burn permit costs $40 and takes a maximum of two days to acquire; the rushed permit can be issued during non-business hours (evenings, weekdays and holidays) for $65. A year-long burn permit is also being offered: the permit covers the 2018 calendar year at a cost of $150.

The township is introducing a new fee for the installation and inspection of backflow prevention devices. The fee is being added in conjunction with a regional program beginning in 2018 that will require industrial and commercial customers to install the devices.

A simplified fee structure for building permits was proposed by township staff. Whereas currently building permits are charged $1.09 per square foot for most residential properties, plus an additional $15.30 per plumbing fixture, staff proposed to combine these two into a single charge of 1.16 per sq/ft.

Finally, council added an exemption for the township’s boards recreation boards from the lottery permit surcharge of three per cent. A similar exemption was made for the Lions Club, which asked the township to forego the three per cent charge on its bingo games.

The discussion held  this week was part of the public meeting required before making changes to the fee schedule, although no members of the public were in attendance. The final decision on the fee changes will be made at the next council meeting, January 9.

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