Highlights of Town’s General Committee meeting – it was a quick one

Town on the hook for property taxes not collected through Summit Centre leases

An MPAC review of businesses leasing space in the Summit Centre has revealed that the Town has taxable tenants for whom taxes have not been collected or remitted. The MPAC assessment on two of the leases is $19,590.10, of this $7,337.26 is owing for education and $8,061.46 is owing to the District.

A more in depth story (surely you have lots of questions about this one) will appear shortly.

Part of rezoning fee on Manse property waived

As the community gets ready to welcome the sponsored Syrian refugee family, Council was asked to consider waiving the re-zoning application fee at a cost of $1825. In recognizing that there are real costs associated with an application that local taxpayers may also feel the burden of paying, Council decided to waive the fee minus the real cost of advertising the rezoning.

Feeling the love

On the heels of reducing the rezoning fee to the benefit of the Syrian sponsorship family, Council further agreed to reduce the cost of rezoning a Brunel Road property where a family with young children has been struggling, trying to find a way to increase the foot print of their 900 square foot home.

Speaking on behalf of the family, the grandfather described them as back-to-the-earth types who had built a yurt to provide more living space. The family has since been directed by the Town to dismantle the yurt. In making the plea, the grandfather said any money saved in reducing the cost of the rezoning would go toward building some sort of a permanent structure.

Noting that there are people in Huntsville who are struggling without the support of a sponsorship, Councillor Schumacher suggested that the same consideration be applied as in the Manse property – reduce the rezoning application fee to the amount that will cover the advertising. Council agreed.

It’s a six pack of sick days

Accepting a report from staff which said that the Town’s policy offering an unlimited number sick days was leading to a significant number of days of absenteeism and costing a lot of money, the Town is moving to cap the number of days allowed at six per year. Sick days may also be utilized to cover absences from work to attend medical or dental appointments and to support immediate family members in medical visits. There will not be any carry over of sick days to the next year and no pay out of any unused portion.

The staff report did not provide any estimates in the amount of money that will be saved with the change in policy. Nor did it say how many sick days were logged in 2015.

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