Town of Oakville Rates & Fees Increase by as much as 42% for 2015

The proposed increases to Rates & Fees alone will generate and additional $1.16 million

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Town of Oakville Rates & Fees Increase by as much as 42% for 2015
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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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On an annual basis as part of the budget process the town of Oakville reviews its rates and fees charged for programs and services offered to the community. This year we are seeing increases for many recreation programs of five percent and a hike in Oakville Transit Fees for Students of 7% to $75.00.

For a great number of the fees and rates there have been no increases, which is commendable. The town has also done a great job a making sure that large users are well aware of the increases. However, smaller users have not really had an opportunity participate. Residents can come to town hall on Tuesday, January 20th and voice there concerns. But the time scheduled for this meeting is at 9:30 AM, which is inconvenient for most residents. And though there is time allotted for discussion, usual proceedings for this meeting is to listen, and then approve the new rates and fees for 2015 in their entirety. That approval then means council will likely approve it on Monday January 26, 2015, so that new rates and fees can be implemented on February 1, 2015. This means most of the increases are already scheduled into the budget for 2015, before the meeting on the 20th takes place.

The Rates and Fees Document was made available to the public on December 20, 2014 which was the Friday before Christmas. It was later than usual due to the fact of it being an election year. The total recommendations come out in a report which is 129 pages long. There is no preface, to help and explain the increases. OakvilleNews.Org did have the opportunity to speak with Councillor Pam Damoff, who expressed concern about the lack of consultation with residents.

Here are a few of the highlights from the Fee & Rates for 2015:

  • At the library there are a host of new fees being imposed from School Age Author Events to Preschool Creative Arts Crafts. None of them are extremely large, but as a parent it all starts to add up.
  • Parking Fines in some cases have gone up by 42 percent which is for parking facing the wrong way on a street.
  • One that is rather an unpleasant increase is a 10 percent increase regarding infant markers in town cemeteries, which will represent a 20 percent increase since 2013.
  • Harbour fees have almost all gone up by 4 percent
  • The use of fields have not been exempt from increase and in one instance has increased up to 11 percent, but  overall increases have been 5 percent.
  • Oakville Centre will be charging $0.09 for emailing to patrons. Doesn’t emailing actually save money?
  • Oakville Transit Students Fees increase by 7 percent to $75.00 for a monthly pass. Guelph’s student pass is $62.00. It is a well known fact that having student ridership makes for long time transit users.

Under the Municipal Act, the Town of Oakville has the right to impose fees or charges for any activity or service provided, but cannot charge more than the cost to provide those programs and services. Let us not forget that many services provided are fully tax supported and have no user fees, such as roads, parks, and fire protection. Other services such as recreation programs, facility and field rentals, transit fares, parking, as well as building, development and planning permits are funded through a combination of user fees and taxes. A mandate for the town is to make a number of these fully paid for by the user.

The additional revenue from this year’s increase to rates and fees will be $1,160,000. So on January 20th you’ll have your opportunity to voice your opinion. You can do so in person, writing or social media, and they will be considered by the Budget Committee.

Councillors on the Budget Committee are:

All submissions whether in person, writing, email (budget@oakville.ca) or social media, will be considered as part of the Budget Committee deliberations. If you wish to speak in person you must advise the town’s clerk by Noon on Monday January 19, 2014 by emailing townclerk@oakville.ca or calling (905) 815-6015.

If you would like to attend the meeting and have any accessibility needs, please contact Kathy Patrick at 905-845-6601, ext. 4235 or fill out the accessible online feedback form. The proposed 2015 Rates and Fees can be viewed on oakville.ca or in person at Town Hall at the ServiceOakville customer service desk.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. John McLaughlin says:

    Oakville resident “user-fee” increases reveal yet again more over-spending and fiscal mismanagement. This is squarely Council’s fault – led by the Mayor. They tried this in Greece too – where years of over-spending and debt may lead to yet another sovereign “bail-out” and more austerity measures.

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