North Huron Council does away with non-resident user fees
BY DENNY SCOTT
When North Huron Township Council next considers its draft fees bylaw, it will be without the tumultuous non-resident user fees, after council voted to remove them on Monday night.
While the vote to scrap the fees, which staff claim hurt not only the municipality's bottom line but also endangered programming, did pass with five votes to eliminate the fees and two votes against, there was some question as to whether it being paired with another change, doubling the cost to rent the Wingham Town Hall Theatre, was necessary.
When discussing the entire bylaw, Councillor Paul Heffer first suggested that the rental cost for the theatre, which is $106 daily for private rentals, is low when compared to renting a pavilion at a municipal park at $75. After some discussion, he suggested a motion that would see the bylaw brought back for approval at council’s next meeting with that cost doubled.
“With the work that’s involved [in the theatre] compared to the pavilion, I feel [renters] are getting a… good building for that amount,” he said before suggesting a motion to double the price.
Councillor Chris Palmer then proposed an amendment to Heffer’s motion, saying that North Huron Council should direct staff to remove the non-resident user fees from the daycare and recreation facilities.
After minimal debate on Heffer’s original motion, Councillor Kevin Falconer suggested the two items should be dealt with separately. Deputy-Reeve Trevor Seip said that may be the case, but councillors would have to vote and decide whether they wanted to go ahead with it or not.
The vote to bring the bylaw back to council next meeting with a doubled theatre rental price and no non-resident user fees for recreational or daycare services passed with all but Falconer and Reeve Bernie Bailey voting in favour.