News Local

Higher fees proposed for new driveways

By Miriam King, Bradford Times

The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury has passed new by-laws governing use of roadways, driveways and curb cuts, and is looking at higher permit fees.

The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury has passed new by-laws governing use of roadways, driveways and curb cuts, and is looking at higher permit fees.

Curb cut permits and driveway widening permits currently cost only $60 in Bradford West Gwillimbury – but are likely to go up, now that Council has agreed to a new Roads Use and Entrance By-law.

Currently, the fees collected do not cover the costs of review, inspections and monitoring, Councillors were told on September 5 – which is why staff recommended an increase in the permit fee to $175, and a new security deposit of between $1200 and $1600, depending on the nature of the work being done. The current security deposit is $0.

The new fees are based on the amount of time spent by staff on the projects, said Joe Coleman, Manager of Transportation, “and to keep in line with other municipalities around us. This is actually an average.”

Asked about the big hike, Coleman noted that the original fees were set in 1992, and “never reviewed until now.”

Not every fee will increase. A permit to place a bin or construction equipment on the roadway (road occupancy permit or ROP) will still cost only $60, the security deposit  limited to $300, “so customers come in and tell us. We want to promote them to come into the office,” advising when there is equipment on the roadway, Coleman said.

Councillors were concerned about the size of the security deposit  requested – but were reassured when Coleman pointed out that applicants are simply asked to leave a cheque, that is only cashed  if an inspection shows that municipal property has been damaged.

Councillors agreed to move forward with the proposed Roads Use By-law and Entrance By-laws – but asked for additional details relating to the charges levied in other municipalities, before the next meeting of Council.

The new permit fees relate to installation of new driveways, with or without curb modifications, widening of existing driveways, and utility works that include installation of new utility transmission lines, utility service feed, or maintenance, and last Tuesday, Councillors approved the By-laws – but not necessarily the fees.

“We're not actually setting the fees tonight,” said Mayor Rob Keffer, noting that the fee schedule will come forward around budget time, leaving more time for debate.