NVCA sets levy increase target, other highlights from board
The NVCA Board of Directors approved a 2014 levy increase target of
3.25 per cent, to adjust for growth (1.92 per cent) and inflation (1.33
per cent). As proposed, it will increase New Tecumseth's contribution
to $244,056, an increase of 4.2 per cent or $9,816.
It will cost Essa, $137,112, up 3.8 per cent or $5,057, and
Adjala-Tosorontio, $89,475, up 2.6 per cent, or $2,268 over last year.
The 18 municipalities that make up the NVCA will be tapped for
Among the identified operational/capital cost pressures for the 2014
- Increased legal costs in Planning due to an impending 2014 OMB(s)
- Increased amortization costs as per 2013 Audit estimated at $35,000
- Staff COLA pressures, heat, hydro, transportation, COLA adjustments;
- Staff benefits costs, OMERS, CPP, EI, etc.;
- Use of Reserve to balance 2013 operational budget of approximately
Capital pressures (normally funded through reserves)
-Offsite data storage approximately $30,000
- Accessibility pressures, power doors/ signage approx. $25,000
- Capital equipment, IT, vehicle, CA lands work, approximately $100,000.
"Please note there is a large range of actual Municipal levy
adjustments compared to 2013, ranging from a reduction of 2.2 per cent
(Mulmur) to an increase of 13.4 per cent (Municipality of Grey
Highlands)," according to the NVCA staff report. "Those Municipalities
with assessment growth greater than the average NVCA Municipality have
an increase greater than the average, 3.25 per cent and those with a
lower assessment growth have a lower Levy increase than the average.
Again this information was provided by the Provincial
Government/Assessment Office and NVCA has no control over the
The draft budget is expected to be tabled in November.
NVCA TO COMMISSION THIRD-PARTY EFFICIENCY AUDIT
An ad hoc committee was struck to oversee the commissioning of a
third-party audit. In a recorded vote, the majority of members were in
favour of conducting an audit in order to optimize on the NVCA's
efficiencies and funding opportunities. Areas to be be reviewed
include: Operating efficiencies; Accounting procedures and software;
Planning fee comparisons with other CA's; Review of technology,
software and plan review opportunities. Plan review opportunities could
include review of efficiencies and cost savings to both the applicant
and the NVCA to outsource planning/engineering review of larger
projects; A sustainable funding source which could include (but not
limited to) partnership opportunities, grants or establishing a
The committee consists of five board members: Mel Coutanche of
Oro-Medonte, Gail Ardiel of the Blue Mountains, Arif Khan of Barrie,
Past Chair Walter Benotto of Shelburne and Chair Nina Bifolchi of
The committee will develop a terms-of-reference document outlining the
scope of the audit and present it to the Board at a future meeting.
They will also put together a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an
auditor and oversee the RFP process.
NEW DRAFT FEE POLICY TO BE POSTED FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
The Planning and Development Fee Schedule Ad Hoc Committee will seek
public input on a revised draft policy to charge Planning fees. The
draft policy, including the proposed 2013 Fee Schedule, will be placed
on the NVCA website for 21 days for public comment, and then staff will
bring the draft policy and any comments received to the November Board
meeting for further consideration.
The ad hoc committee is comprised of eight members of the NVCA’s Board
of Directors along with the Director of Planning and the
CAO/Secretary-Treasurer. They have been working since early in the year
to review the existing policy and fee schedule in consultation with key
stakeholders, and to develop recommendations for revising the fee
BOARD HEARS DEPUTATION FROM BILD
Representatives of the Building Industry and Land Development (BILD)
Association made a deputation to the Board of Directors regarding
suggestions for incorporation into the draft Policy to Charge Fees.
These comments, along with those from the public and other
organizations, will be taken into consideration in the development of
the final policy.
PHOSPHOROUS MANAGEMENT PROJECTS TO RECEIVE FEDERAL FUNDING
NVCA staff will participate in two projects to be funded by Environment
Canada through the Lake Simcoe/South-Eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up
Fund. In January of 2013, Environment Canada announced a $24 million,
five-year extension to this fund, and the NVCA made several project
The first approved project will involve creating a computer modeling
tool that will help the development industry to reduce the amount of
phosphorous entering watercourses via urban stormwater. The project
will include delivering a training seminar to municipalities and local
engineering consulting firms on using the tool.
The second approved project is a collaboration between several
agencies, led by the Holland Marsh Growers Association. It is designed
to evaluate on-farm wastewater treatment technologies to decrease
phosphorous contribution to surface water. The NVCA will provide
support to this project including staff expertise, monitoring data and
The NVCA also submitted a letter of intent for a project to develop a
Nottawasaga River Phosphorous Management Strategy. This letter was
accepted by Environment Canada, giving NVCA staff the go-ahead to
submit a full project proposal. The Board voted to support the proposal
submission and, if it is approved for funding, to review the project
with staff in detail and provide further direction.
AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE FORMED
An Agricultural Advisory Committee is to be formed with representation
from the agricultural community throughout the NVCA watershed
jurisdiction. The move is in support of the NVCA's newly drafted
five-year strategic plan, as well as requests from members of the
agricultural community for increased communications with the
An NVCA Board Member Agricultural Ad Hoc Committee will be formed to
assist staff with the development of a terms-of-reference document for
the Advisory Committee, covering details including meeting frequency,
procedural rules and membership.
LOCAL ENGINEERING FIRM SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH NVCA
The Board of Directors heard a deputation from Greenland International
Consulting Engineers regarding partnership opportunities with the NVCA.
Greenland has developed several watershed analytical tools and provides
expertise in areas including low-impact development and watershed