West Nipissing is set to increase its building and planning fees, though the specific amounts are yet to be finalized and will be discussed at an upcoming meeting. Stephan Poulin, the community services director, informed the council that the current fees for building and planning in West Nipissing are significantly lower than those of similar municipalities and neighbouring regions. To align the fees with other areas, Poulin recommended a significant increase.
Poulin explained that the building fees were last assessed in 2018, while planning fees have remained unchanged since 2011. He approximated that raising the fees could lead to an annual increase of $50,000 to $65,000 for the municipality.
Furthermore, West Nipissing is considering increasing fines for illegal work. For instance, if a person constructs a deck without the necessary permit, the municipality will fine them at least the cost of the permit. For example, if the permit costs $200, the fine for building the deck without it would be $200, and the person would also need to purchase the $200 permit. The council is contemplating doubling that fine to discourage illegal building in the municipality. Poulin emphasized that the objective is to deter people from initiating illegal work. He indicated that several other municipalities are already implementing such fines. The maximum fine would be $2,500, Poulin suggested.