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Construction concerns raise eyebrows at Council table

September 27, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Kira Wronska Dorward

The September 23 Council Meeting saw Councillor MacLellan address an issue plaguing local residents as they continue to enjoy the warm weather.

“I’m really sick and tired of [construction companies]

not abiding by call routes and not respecting the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. developer hours, [as well as] working on Sundays. None of these developers abide by these rules. None of them.”

After assurances made to the Councillor personally last Saturday, fourteen more infractions were counted just Monday. Each infraction costs $300, so, in total, developers cost themselves $7,000 in infractions two days after discussion and assurances to Council members.

“I’m pretty sure our residents do not appreciate being woken up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday,” Councillor MacLellan continued. “We need to change these penalties. We need to make it hurt. And our residents are suffering. We need to double [the fines].”

Councillor Saisnbury then made a point that instead of absorbing the cost of the fines themselves, the developers often simply add the price of the penalties into the cost of the house, thus punishing the homebuyers and not the developers.

“We’re penalizing the wrong people,” she concluded.

Councillor Foster echoed the frustration of his colleagues.

“If you don’t listen, it needs to be more than just a small amount of fines…to make people be reasonable and follow the rules.”

Deputy Mayor Norcross weighed in, “This has become a real issue…to have these things come right back up again Monday morning…I think putting in a modular fine [system] would be best.”

The Vice-President of B.G. Properties Inc., Dave Murray, was present at the meeting to comment.

“If I could take this moment to apologize for all the phone calls that are unneeded…I do understand why everyone is upset, I do. It may be too little too late, but if this behaviour continues [the contractors] will be paying these fines, not us, not the home owners, but the contractors. And we will be having another conversation [with developers].”

“It’s quite evident that the fine system is not working,” concluded Deputy Mayor Norcross. “Council should come back to ratify a tier system that should be a part of all land site agreements.”

Councillor MacLellan added, “We need to take a stand on this, and I appreciate Council’s support.”

Councillor Beattie put in his two cents about what nature the fines should take.

“I’m not confident with this tier system where it looks like we’re picking hairs and favourites. I don’t want to build a tiered structure because of one bad day and one bad truck driver.”

“I would respectfully suggest,” added Councillor Foster, “[that we] go back to [contracting] staff. To me, it’s you have [contracting] staff, they abide by the rules, or you get new staff.”

Mayor Norcross suggested that staff come back in two weeks with a report on the fine numbers, “so we can make a clear decision.”

Councillor MacLellan countered with “it’s right in front of us, let’s do it now…this has got to scare them into playing by the rules, for the sake of our residents being affected by this.”

A motion was then passed for staff to come back in two week’s time with a report on the fines, with a decision to be made from there.

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