“We must remember that if we do this for one, then others may come for the same thing,” said Mayor Guy Desjardins. “I know it’s done in the big cities, but we are not a big city.”
The mayor was commenting during the May 20 committee of the whole session about a proposal that city administration and council received from Spacebuilders for a front-end financing agreement dealing with phase five of the Morris Village residential development project in Rockland.
An administration report noted that Spacebuilders recognized the company’s responsibility “to finance local servicing costs” but suggested it “should not be fully responsible for front-ending the costs of servicing work for future development areas.” The company asked the city for a cost-recovery strategy that would involve Clarence-Rockland helping with part or all of the servicing costs for other areas adjacent to the Morris Village project which might benefit from Spacebuilders’ own schedule for servicing infrastructure work that links up with the municipal system.
Municipal staff reviewed the situation and provided council with summaries of five possible options. Staff recommended Option Three, the No City Front-End Financing option, “as the preferred cost recovery mechanism” for the city to deal with both the municipal infrastructure needs for the Morris Village Phase Five situation and any other future development projects.
Option Three follows past practices for the municipality in dealing with cost-sharing service infrastructure with more than one property owner, avoids problems for municipal debt financing, and does not create a legal precedent concerning future development. It makes all developers responsible for their share of infrastructure servicing costs with the municipality as their projects are approved.
The committee of the whole approved the Option Three recommendation. That goes for council approval during the June regular session.